Advantages Competitively priced
Disadvantages Gone too soon.
|Value for money|
|How loyal are you to this brand?|
Having first written this review almost two months ago just after I'd submitted the product proposal, I'd almost forgotten about its existence until I received the product proposal acceptance e-mail from Ciao on Friday. Prior to submitting the review though, I thought it'd be best to give this wine a second (well fourth actually) tasting just to see if anything had changed. The lengths I go to for Ciao eh?THE WINERY
The Vina Albali winery was founded in the 1950's by Felix Solis Fernandez in a small bodega (winery or cellar) in the Valdepenas region of Spain. As the business began to expand beyond the local area to encompass sales to restaurants in Madrid the whole family became involved in winemaking. Overseas exports began in the late 1960's with the Solis brothers (Felix's sons) travelling far and wide to to promote their wines. Further expansion followed in the 1970's and with the aid of a grant from the Spanish government a new winery was built in its current location on the Madrid - Andulucia road. Subsequent refurbishment has made it into one of the most modern winery's in Spain, with a bottling capacity of some 6,000 bottles per hour. Vina Albali now have bottling plants as far away as Tenerife and Shanghai as well as warehouses in France and the Czech Republic.The actual Vina Albali vineyard, covering over 340 hectares, is situated near the small town of Pozo de Serna some 8km from Valdepenas. Here the timely seasonal rains and day - night temperature differences exceeding 30C (during the summer) give the ideal environment for the grapes to reach optimum maturity each year.
THE GRAPESTempranillo (pronounced tem-prah-NEE-lyoh) is an important red wine grape native to northern Spain where it's widely cultivated. Also known as Cencibel in some areas, Tempranillo is mainly grown in the Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Penedes regions. Tempranillo is often blended with other grape varieties, and it is one of these blends which goes to make what is perhaps Spain's best known red wine, Rioja. Outside of Spain it's cultivated in Argentina, Portugal and increasingly in California.
WHERE FROM ?I bought this bottle from Morrisons where it cost £3.99 for for a 75cl bottle. I haven't seen it in any other supermarkets although I'm reliably informed that it's available from Fenwicks. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find it in a specialist wine shop or two either.
WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE?Vina Albali Rosado Tempranillo comes in a clear glass bottle with a natural cork closure. It has a small discrete pink label on the front which gives you the basic information about the wine in gold lettering. Most significantly the back of the bottle tells you that it's 12% ABV (alcohol by volume) which means that it compares favourably with its New World rose' cousins.
LOOKS, SMELL & TASTEThe wine pours into the glass a very dark pink, almost borderline translucent red colour. You could almost call it a pale cherryade colour (but I wouldn't advise pouring it into a large glass, adding ice and gulping it down in one go - the results might not be pretty!).
On first smelling this wine I got a strong impression of ripe strawberries. A second sniff confirmed this, but this time a hint of redcurrant crept in with raspberry jockeying for attention too. Red berries are definitely the overriding aroma of Vina Albali Rosado Temperanillo.Now for the taste! The first taste of this wine actually caused me to gasp, it was very very tart. Not too unlike a Portugese rose (Mateus Rose' for example). This dissipates very quickly though and an intense fruitiness shines through with our friends from the sniff test coming to the fore; ripe stawberries, redcurrants and raspberries all put in an apperance in the taste contest. What struck me most about this wine though was the aftertaste. It's a wonderful combination of butter and vanilla and has the legs of a marathon runner with an ever so slight acidic kick at the end to remind you that it is alcohol you're drinking after all.
Now this could be because I've been alcohol free all week (don't laugh it's true) but a couple of glasses of this have actually left me feeling ever so slightly mellow. So being an alcoholic drink I suppose it's doing what it says on the bottle.BEST SERVED
Well the jury's out on this one. Rose's are normally best served at around 10-12C, but I normally prefer mine chilled to a cooler temperature than this. Both serving alternatives are equally as good though, so I'll leave this dilemma up to you.WHAT'S IT GO WITH?
The bottle suggests soups, fish and seafood and with it's initial acidic kick I can see why. However, this wine is equally as good by itself. I've tried it with a not too spicy pasta dish and it stood up well to the test, but again the choice is yours really.STORAGE
My normal motto is "Get it home and get it drunk" but for those of you with more will power this wine should comfortably keep for 12-18 months. Having a natural cork closure it's best kept racked.FINAL THOUGHTS
I wouldn't say this was my favourite rose wine, as I don't think anything will displace a Californian white zinfandel in my affections. It is however, just about the best European rose that I've tried for many a year and at under £4 a bottle it's not to be sniffed at.
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