The acidity of Albariño gives these wines great personality and freshness while extending their life
Wine is an ancient and complex product that combines, from the soil in which the roots of the vines grow to bottle, dozens of elements and processes. If we had to highlight two characteristics of grapes and wine, they would be sugar and acidity. Precisely, the level of acidity of Albariño is what makes it a unique wine in the world.
In our collective imagination, acidity has been stigmatized. The concept of acid has not traditionally been associated with docile or benevolent representations. Thus, when we talk about a person’s sense of humor and label it as acidic, we mean that it can be hurtful. Certainly not suitable for all tastes, nor all people.
All this, even though acids are basic to the existence of life on our planet. And, bringing it to our terrain, they are fundamental in the production of wine. The acidity of Albariño gives vitality, personality, and longevity to one of the most prestigious whites in the world.
Liquids full of life
If the wine had no acidity it would be a flat, without soul in the mouth. It would not provoke any of the general reactions on the palate that we know it as we know it. We would be facing a graceless drink.
That is why the best winemakers and oenologists in the world seek, value, and promote the acidity of grapes and wine. The personality of the product rests largely on their shoulders.
Thus, acidity becomes a sine qua non condition for building the complexity and vibrant vitality of the wine. This characteristic is mainly, but not exclusively, based on six types of acids. Three come from the grapes and three are generated during their production: during fermentation and aging.
The first three acids are tartaric, malic, and citric. The first is the major acid in wine. The level of concentration of the second varies greatly depending on the grape variety, the area, or the climate. This type of acid is what gives white wine its characteristic freshness. And it causes the wine to remind us of green apples. The third is rare in grapes.
The other three acids are succinic, lactic, and acetic. The first is produced during fermentation and evolves with the wine. The second originates from malic acid, which is transformed by lactic acid bacteria and is important in red wines. The last is responsible for volatile acidity.
The balance between the different acids allows to build a work as majestic and complex as the acidity of Albariño. Without them, what is a product full of life, nuances, and personality would be an inert liquid, lacking interest.
That is why the control of acidity is fundamental in the elaboration of the only single-estate albariños: those of Pazo Baión. The abundant acidity of the grapes born in our estate and transformed into wine in the winery, explains the election of Pazo Baión as the Best Young Wine of Spain by the Gourmet Wine Guide. A product that, thanks to its acidity, has the personality and maturity of a veteran.
Timeless single-vineyard wines
Thanks to the acidity, the wine can age well and become more interesting and delicious after a few years have passed since it was made and bottled.
In this sense, the prestigious winemaker José Hidalgo and advisor to Pazo Baión‘s winemaking team maintain that what the winery has tried and achieved «is that you open a bottle of Pazo Baión two, three or four years later and it is not only good but better than the first year». This would be impossible without the valuable acidity of our single-estate albariños.
It is precisely the acidity of the albariño grape that allows the wines of the D.O. Rías Baixas to have so much structure, nuances, and personality. And it is these characteristics that have conquered wine lovers all over the world.
Having a grape loaded with acids and growing in a cold climate that allows the vines to regenerate in winter is an advantage. Soil, vines, grapes, and the mild Atlantic climate modulate the acidity of Albariño, elevating it to the sky of white wines.
In addition, this characteristic allows the wines of the Rías Baixas to achieve the longevity that other whites cannot.
In the past, albariños were thought of, almost exclusively, as young wines. However, innovative and ambitious projects such as Pazo Baión have opted to take full advantage of the acidity and extend the life of the wine.
Thus, in addition to Pazo Baión, the winery produces Gran a Gran, a miraculous liquid product of noble rot; and Vides de Fontán, an Albariño with three years of aging and which, in Hidalgo’s words, is «a timeless wine. Eternal».
The acidity of Albariño opens up a huge field of action and experimentation for winemakers and winemakers in the Rías Baixas. Therefore, Pazo Baión continues to work continuously at all stages of wine production, from the care of the vines to fermentation, to squeeze the full potential of the grapes grown in the special climate of the micro-universe of Pazo Baión.
The objective is clear: to produce single-estate Albariños that stand out for their solid structure, their delicious taste on the palate, and a personality to match five centuries of history. Pure goldsmithing, the fruit of teamwork.