2020 Kongsgaard Albarino

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2020-kongsgaard-albarino

Wine Details on 2020 Kongsgaard Albarino

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Producer Kongsgaard
Region California: With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Country US: As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Type of Wine California White: If you're in the mood for a creative, compelling white wine, few regions can compete with California, and it's immense varietal diversity. With the pure, potent essence of grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Gris, these wines will stimulate your senses and arouse your intellect. Give in, and enjoy.
Varietal Albarino: Along the rugged and storm battered coastlines of the Iberian Peninsula, hails a wine grape that has literally weathered the storm to become an icon of the region.  The Albarino grape variety is native to the area in the northwestern corner of the peninsula but it is not clear which side of the border.  As with most ancient grape varietals, there are many speculations as to its true time and place of origin; however it most likely originated in the area straddling the border between modern day Spain and Portugal during the time of the ancient Romans.

Albarino is the shining star in Galicia, which spans the length of Spain’s southern coastline, bordering Portugal.  It has greatly contributed to the region’s economical and agricultural growth and success.  Among the many sub-regions, Rias Baixas has become one of Spain’s greatest success stories; the reputation of Rias Baixas as being the country’s top white wine region is intrinsically connected to its signature grape variety: Albarino.

Over the past 40 years, Rias Baixas has become synonymous with Albarino, which accounts for over 90% of all plantings and covering 13,150 hectares (32,500 acres) of the region.  With its expressive, site-specific and refreshing wines, Rias Baixas Albarino represents the pinnacle of what this increasingly popular grape can achieve.

The terroir of Rias Baixas is perfectly attuned to the Albarino grape varietal: Atlantic influences combine with granite and schist soils to create the wine’s high natural acidity, citrus flavors and sea spray minerality (salinity).  Coastal storms are not uncommon, bringing heavy amounts of rain, but also allowing for a steady and constant growing season.  Vines are trellised high above head on Pergolas to help keep grapes dry and rot-free.  This task is imperative as the small, thick-skinned grapes grow in tight clusters which demands maintaining and plenty of air circulation.

Typical wine styles of the sub-regions can vary, though all tend to be bone-dry with a pale golden color, crisp acidity, with aromatic profiles of white peach, apricot, melon, pineapple, mango and honeysuckle.  Inland vineyards produce fruitier wines, while coastal vineyards produce wines with more salinity. 

Traveling south into northern Portugal, Albarino is referred to as Alvarinho.  Despite the naming confusion between the two countries, genetic fingerprinting is identical.  Both names are officially recognized by the European Union, France and the United States regarding plant propagation material and labeling.

Albarino (Alvarinho) is one of a number of white grapes permitted in the Vinho Verde DOC (Portugal’s appellation system for agricultural products).  The varietal spans 5,782 hectares (14,300 acres) of the region where it is mainly used as a blending agent.  However, the smaller sub-regions of Moncao and Melgaco embrace the grape’s naturally high acidity and craft single-variety wines.  A very unique process is implemented in which carbon dioxide is imbued, giving this style of wine an incredibly light, sparkling and refreshing mouth feel and sensation.  The grapes used in this process are carefully nurtured to achieve optimum ripeness necessary for this style of wine.

Rias Baixas and Vinho Verde have brought worldwide recognition to the Albarino grape variety, which is now gaining popularity in new world winegrowing regions, most notably, the Central Coast of California and Australia.  Though it is thought to be one of the oldest varietals, having vines over 300 years old in some regions, Albarino is relatively new to the world of wine. 

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