April 15, 2024

Briar Ridge Albarino 

Who makes it? 

Briar Ridge Albarino is a small batch wine from a well loved Hunter Valley winery. Briar Ridge is one of those wineries in the Hunter that has an immensely strong cellar door club of wine lovers. Obviously, Briar Ridge is well known for their Hunter classics Semillon & Shiraz. There are also a couple of producers there that are making Albarino. Of course, Albarino is a native to North East Spain and Northern Portugal.  

The region also has some pockets of vineyards planted the Italian variety, Fiano. Fiano has done very well in other parts of Australia. As has Albarino.   

How do they make it? 

Hunter Valley Albarino is carefully portion controlled so that this white retains its freshness from a batch remaining in stainless steel. Another batch sees some maturation in old French oak for four months.   

What does it taste like? 

This is a dry and textural white wine.  It is fuller in style thanks to that time in oak. It is spicy with some cinnamon creaminess on the palate. To me there is a savouriness that smells like sage yet on the palate, it is more minerality driven. All this wraps up the citrus, fleshy nectarine and peach fruit. There is a whole lot to contemplate with this wine. It finishes fresh, spicy and lingering.  

What to drink it with? 

Grilled scallops and baked white fish with a buttery sauce are a delicious match here. Add some toasted flaked almonds for a touch of luxury. Or a cheesy roulade, with or without bacon filling and plenty of chives. Or a creamy chicken pasta or chicken & leek pie. So much to offer here. 

Cheese 

Semi hard cheese such as Gouda and bloomy cheeses such as Brie are a good start for an Albarino wine.  

Quickie review « This is a sign of just how well Albarino does in Australia and the future looks very bright indeed. » 

Country of Origin:  Hunter Valley, Australia 
Tasting Date: January 2024 
Price:   AU$35 
Drink: now –2+ years  
Needs food: no 
Source: tasting 

Visit briarridge  for more. 

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