Ever tried a Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño wine? The Albariño grape has taken on a life of its own in recent years, and its wines are incredibly popular. The Rías Baixas region, in particular, is the Albariño capital of the world. These wines are some of the freshest and most exciting Spanish wines on the market, in large part thanks to the hard work of a new generation of young and adventurous winemakers. That’s not to overlook the more historic producers, though. Far from it, in fact. Let’s focus now on one of the region’s longest-established bodegas, Palacio de Fefiñanes!
Palacio de Fefiñanes: Masters of Albariño
Bodegas Palacio de Fefiñanes has been a major player in Rías Baixas for more than a hundred years. Its origins date back to 1904, though it was in 1928 that it rose to prominence with the release of its first vintage of Albariño de Fefiñanes. In a region renowned for its youthful spirit and modern approach to winemaking, Palacio de Fefiñanes is remarkable for its long history and legacy. The bodega is far from conservative, though, and produces a wide range of different Albariños that any white wine lover will want to try!
The wines of Palacio de Fefiñanes
They’ve been around for a while, so these guys know what they’re doing. Whether it’s something light and simple, slightly more complex or seriously high end, there’s guaranteed to be a style to suit your tastes (and budget)! These are dry white wines from the Albariño grape, but that’s where the comparisons end. Let’s take a look at three distinct styles!
Light and fresh: Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño
The Albariño de Fefiñanes range offers a wonderfully lively and welcoming introduction to Rías Baixas Albariño. With these wines, Palacio de Fefiñanes does everything to preserve and express the intense aromatics of the grape. Fermentation takes place in neutral stainless steel tanks, ensuring that the aromatics can develop without any oak or other influence. What you get here is pure Albariño fruit with flavours of herbaceousness and citrus fruits, refreshing acidity and pleasant minerality. These wines are perfect as an aperitif, though will pair very well with white fish in zesty lemon sauce.
Ageing on lees: Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño III Año
Though this is also 100% Albariño, the technical team at Palacio de Fefiñanes have done something entirely different here. The Albariño de Fefiñanes III Año is a more complex wine, in large part due to its ageing on the lees. The lees are the dead yeast cells left over after alcoholic fermentation, and are usually separated from the liquid immediately after that process is complete. Some winemakers like to age their wine for a time on the lees, which can impart a new level of depth and complexity. At Palacio de Fefiñanes, they do this in stainless steel tanks, and so they strike a delicate balance between primary fruit aromas and the added complexity of ageing on lees, with notes of brioche, cream and toast. These wines are longer-lived than many white wines, and three of our favourites are:
These wines are more complex and can stand up to fuller-bodied dishes including cream-based sauces and soups.
Limited edition: Palacio de Fefiñanes Armas De Lanzós
To finish with something very special indeed, we’ve got Armas De Lanzós 2013. From small parcels of the best Albariño fruit, this is the cream of the Palacio de Fefiñanes crop – literally! This is a limited production with just 633 magnum bottles produced. Aged again on the lees, this wine has all the depth of that above but thanks to an even stricter selection of fruit it offers an even purer expression of Albariño in conjunction with delicious and nuanced complexity from its ageing. This one can be sipped by itself, but its large bottle format lends itself instead to food and celebration. Gather friends and family around the table and serve this with a mixture of pintxos or tapas!
Have you tried any Palacio de Fefiñanes wines? If not, what are you waiting for?! Pick up a bottle! If you have, tell us about it! What is your favourite?