The aromas of our single-estate albariños

The aromas of our albariños are very special

The aromas that come into play in the elaboration and tasting of the wine are the ones that allow us to know what our single-estate albariños smell like, and at the same time give them their unique personality

Smells permeate our entire existence. No human product escapes them. In the case of wine, not only does it not, but much of its magic and charm lies in deciphering the aromas that make it up.

Although we often forget about it, compared to other more basic senses to perform the actions of our daily lives, such as sight or hearing, smell, like all its brothers, contributes to making our world the way it is and not otherwise. Without being able to smell anything, we would live in an anodyne reality and, going into the realm of another sense, a tasteless one.

Precisely, when we think of smell, we associate it, irremediably, with food and drink. The aromas are given off by a bread oven when it is in full production. Or the cellar where our grandfather had the vat with his homemade wine.

But our subconscious also links certain aromas with the people who wear them regularly. A perfume happens to smell like our mother because she has always used that product.

What underlies both issues is the evocative power of aromas. If there is one scent that we all easily identify, it is the smell of wet earth after a summer storm. And that smell, natural and simple, redirects us, like Proust’s madeleine, to the summers of our childhood and adolescence. That promised to be infinite until they came to an end, buried by textbooks. And in which everything seemed possible.

Like summer, wine has a very characteristic smell, which leads our memory to meals and memories shared with friends and family. But, compared to the simplicity of the smell of wet earth, wine has many aromas, studied and calculated with precision, that give each wine a unique personality.

Not all wines smell the same

What do wines smell like? It is both an easy and extremely complex question. The wine smells like wine, there is no other product that smells the same. It is a smell easily identifiable and with which we have been familiar since we were children when we saw how our elders sautéed celebrations and meals with this nectar of the gods.

However, the smell of wine hides multiple aromas. Although it may seem a truism: wine smells like wine, each wine smells differently. This is due to the infinite number of aromas that make up this small miracle.

We could define wine aromas as volatile chemical compounds that penetrate our interior through the retronasal route.

Their origin has nothing to do with the products they evoke. In other words, when a wine lover says that a wine has a peach aroma, it is not because the winery‘s enology team has added this dairy product to the wine. Rather, these aromas come from both the raw material and the processes that lead the grapes to become wine.

Precisely, the aromas that make up the wine are divided into three main groups. Primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas. Each of them originates at a different stage of winemaking and can be identified at different times during the tasting.

From the vine to the nose

Primary aromas are the easiest to perceive. When we bring the wine glass close to our nostrils, they enter our organism, taking over our senses.

These compounds come from the grape variety. They are the great contribution, in terms of smell, of the grape to the wine. Hence, the grape variety and the terroir are key.

In turn, these aromas are divided into four series: floral, vegetal, fruity, and mineral. We are talking about easily recognizable scents that remind us of aromatic natural elements. Such as roses (floral), fennel (vegetal), white fruits (fruity), or pitch (mineral).

Hence, even the most profane person has heard it said that a glass of wine is very fruity. They are especially prominent in young wines.

The aromas of wine are very important

Stirring the aromas

After bringing the glass close to the nose, we can proceed to swirl it. This operation helps our organism to capture the secondary aromas of the wine. These have their origin in the fermentation process of the grape, by which the simple must give way to the complex and valuable wine.

During fermentation and the generation of aromas associated with it, the yeasts and the temperature that the wine reaches during the process play an important role.

The three main categories of secondary aromas are bakery or fermentation aromas, lactic aromas, and amyl aromas.

Bakery aromas are generated during alcoholic fermentation and evoke, as their name suggests, products such as bread or sponge cake.

Lactic acid, on the other hand, comes, of course, from malolactic fermentation, whereby malic acid is transformed into lactic acid. Among them, we can highlight butter, milk, or fresh cheese.

While amyls remind us of products as diverse as nail polish or caramel.

A characteristic of secondary aromas is their sweetness, which is why they predominate in sweet wines.

Bouquet, a symbol of aging

If primary aromas give us information about the terroir, the grape variety, and the grape; and secondary aromas about the fermentation; tertiary aromas tell us about the aging process of the wine.

For our sense of smell, which is not as fine as that of other animals, to detect the tertiary aromas or bouquet, it is necessary to shake the glass with more energy than that used to bring out the secondary aromas.

The result of this operation will surprise our senses. These aromas are strongly related to the vats in which the wines age, as well as to the bottles where they are stored for sale and enjoyment. They are also divided into three large groups.

On the one hand, we have empyreumatic aromas, which remind us of products that interact with fire, such as chocolate or nuts.

On the other hand, we can find wood aromas, logically linked to the material of the barrels and the aromas it gives off. This is the case with cedar or licorice.

Finally, we would have the aromas of spices, such as pepper, vanilla, or cinnamon.

As they are generated during aging, these notes are typical of the most mature wines, which are endowed with complexity.

The result of the sum of all the aromas is an accurate x-ray of the wine we are tasting. Its origin, elaboration, and maturation can be known through the sense of smell. Something extraordinary that makes wine an even more magical product.

Well, we have talked about what wines smell like, but… What are the aromas of our single-estate Albariños?

Pazo Baión, flowers and white fruits

The flagship of the winery, Pazo Baión, the Best Young White Wine of Spain, according to the Gourmets Wine Guide, is an Albariño that stands out for its intense varietal perfume.

It is dominated by two series of primary aromas: floral and fruity. Thus, it combines the presence of white flowers such as orange blossom and jasmine, with a predominance of citrus, balanced by a background of white fruit such as apple and pear.

The relevance of these notes means that the albariño grape variety is the true protagonist of this wine. Hence, Pazo Baión concentrates the best of the DO Rías Baixas.

In addition, the predominance of aromas of flowers and white fruits is the reason why this wine is so fresh and balanced in the mouth while leaving a wonderfully aromatic finish on the palate. A wine that pairs extraordinarily well with both fish and seafood.

The aromas give personality to the wine

Vides de Fontán, a toasted and spicy wine

This Albariño, awarded with the Great Gold Medal of the Galician Wine Guide, stands out above all for its 3 years of aging.

Hence, we should briefly dwell on the fermentation and maturation process of this wine.

First, it is divided into three parts. Two of them will ferment in French oak vats for a year. The other will be aged in stainless steel. Subsequently, they will be unified for another year of maturation in a stainless steel tank. And finally, Vides de Fontán will finish aging in its bottles for another year. After three years, it will be ready to be tasted by wine lovers.

Thus, in addition to the presence of aromas of white flowers similar to those of Pazo Baión, typical of the Albariño variety and the characteristics of the vineyards of our estate, it also has tertiary aromas.

In such a way that orange blossom and stone fruit are integrated with toasted and spicy notes, typical of the ripening and aging process.

What is achieved is a sensational combination of notes of varietal character, and therefore primary, with other tertiary. It is precisely this blend that gives Vides de Fontán its extraordinary structure and personality.

A miracle that is built thanks to the work of the winery’s viticulture and enology team. A perfect single-estate Albariño to sauté the best meats.

Gran a Gran, honey, and jam

If Pazo Baión stands out for the importance of the grape, the vine, and the terroir and Vides de Fontán for the aging, Gran a Gran stands out for the noble rot. A process by which a fungus concentrates the must and readjusts the grape’s metabolism. This leads to the appearance of new flavors and aromas.

In semi-dry Gran a Gran, in addition to the floral aromas typical of the Albariño variety, the honeyed notes, candied fruit, and apricot jam stand out. All of them are tertiary notes, in which sweetness is the protagonist.

The interplay between the freshness of the primary floral notes and the sweetness of the secondary ones makes Gran a Gran especially pleasant and a fantastic accompaniment to appetizers and desserts. Once swallowed, it leaves a long, smooth finish in the mouth, which feels almost like a caress to the palate.

Flavor and smell, taste and smell go hand in hand. Both play a fundamental role in the elaboration and enjoyment of such a special wine.

Pazo Baión’s single-estate Albariños, with five centuries of history, stand out for their aromas. While primary notes predominate in the first-born, and tertiary in Gran a Gran and Vides de Fontán. In such a way that each of our wines truffles our nostrils with different and special aromas.

Perfect elaborations to share with friends and family and create memories to come back to thanks to the aromas of our single-estate albariños.



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