Albariño from northwestern Spain is a grape whose wines always seem to have a touch of class. Even the most affordable, like this widely available brand, have a lasting finish on the palate that some grapes cannot consistently deliver. All noble wine grapes can muster a long finish — the palpable hum of lingering energy that fine wines convey as part of their aftertaste — but their flavor intensity can vary widely. Some are known for their hyper-concentration, others are recognized for their delicacy and finesse, as is the case with albariño. Its wines are often described as “aromatic” for their fragrance of white peaches and chamomile, but these flavors are considerably more subtle than the forceful perfume of moscato or even sauvignon blanc, which makes albariño an ideal choice for fans of Italian pinot grigio or French Macon-Villages. When combined with the style’s bright green-apple acidity and absence of nutty oak, not to mention its uncommonly low alcohol content, it is albariño’s mild flavor that makes it such a sublimely versatile partner with a range of foods, from heirloom tomato salads to sushi and crudo.
Martin Codax Albariño, Galicia, Spain, $12.99 (regularly $15.99, sale price through Aug. 27) PLCB Item #5170; Also available at Canal’s Bottlestop in Marlton, $12.96; Canal’s in Mount Ephraim, $12.99.