June 18, 2024

John Wilson’s verdict on new wine made by an Irish Master of Wine in Spain


Geal Albariño is the best yet from this coastal vineyard in Rías Baixas

For the past few years, Lynne Coyle, Director of Wine at O’Briens, has been producing Rós, a delicious succulent rosé made in conjunction with Bodegas Tandem in Navarra. For her latest wine, Geal, she has moved to Galicia to make an excellent Albariño in conjunction with Sonia Costa of Bodega Lagar de Costa, who supply wines to O’Briens. Geal means white as gaeilge.

The Lagar de Costa vineyards run right down to the shoreline, with only a narrow strip of sand between vine and sea. Perhaps this is why the wines, including this one, have a marked saline note? Don’t let that put you off; the wines are all very good, and this is the best yet.

Made using hand-picked grapes from a single 50-year-old vineyard beside the shoreline, the wine is fermented using wild yeasts and aged on the lees in a concrete egg.

Geal is a wonderful, succulent wine with real depth; mouth-watering ripe fruits, balanced perfectly by that mineral, saline acidity. It matched nicely with my clams, and I suspect it would be a great partner for most seafood. Try it with seared scallops for a real treat.

Geal Albariño is available from O’Briens currently priced at €19.95, down from €24.95.

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