Spain’s Reign

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Albarino, verdejo, godello? Not exactly household words, but Northern Spain is home to a trio of indigenous white grape varieties that make light- to medium-bodied dry wines that are delicate and aromatic. If you appreciate understatement more than oak, here are some winners that will pair beautifully with seafood salads or mildly spicy Asian fare.

La Caña Albarino, Rias Baixas, 2012 

Located in cool coastal Galicia just north of the Portuguese border, Rias Baixas is home to Spain’s prestige white grape, albarino. This one is florally scented, fresh and lively, with a touch of spritz and a delicious creamy texture.

($20, Bauer Wines, Boston)

Nisia “Old Vines” Verdejo, Rueda, 2012

Produced further inland, in warmer conditions, this juicy old-vine verdejo has a pear-like aroma, a soft texture, mellow fruit notes and touch of minerality. Spain’s answer to pinot grigio? It’s mild and subtle but with a persistent finish.

($17, Cambridge Wine & Spirits)

Avancia “Cuveé de O” Godello, Valdeorras, 2012

From the Valley of Gold, this godello is a bit more richly textured, concentrated and ripe, with layers of citrus and peach flavor. Bone dry and with a honeyed fruit note, this is made from one of the most venerable grape varieties in Spain, dating back to Roman times—but it was nearly extinct a generation ago until dedicated producers such as Avancia revived its fortunes.

($20, Bacco’s Wine and Cheese, Boston)


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