Saturday, 9 May 2009

Wine Review - La Val Albariño 2006

This will not be a positive review. And while it sometimes feels good to burn a wine down for being plain bad, in this case we regret it. Why? We really hoped that this particular wine would be lovely, because it is of the kind that you don't see much in Oman and has the potential of being great.

All the ingredients were there. The La Val is made from the Albariño grape, which is widely planted in the Spanish Rias Baixas region. Albariño makes some seriously good wines. They are refreshing, fruity and perfect company to fish and hot weather. In Northern Portugal they call the grape Alvarinho, and those are equally good.

This wine from Bodegas La Val is made to reach ultimate freshness. No wood in this wine. The result is a wine that has lovely citrus flavours, the freshness of green apples and a light, spritzy feel. It had weight, but is light at the same time. It's serious fun, so to say.

So, then what's wrong with the wine? Well, it's the age. The bottles that are currently on OUA's shelves, are from 2006, whereas 2007 has long hit the market, and the wines from 2008 are just about to be released. Wines that are made in this style, are not meant to age. If they grow too old the fruit disappears, only to be replaced with (apple) acidity. The spritz is gone as well. The result? A disjointed, tired wine.

This wine should have been in the discount bins a year ago, but we still had to pay the full 10.500 OMR. That's a lot of money for a not-so-good wine. Unfortunately, we see this all too often. Beware when buying white wines, and make sure that you buy only the youngest vintages. That might just save you from a disappointment.

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