Photo by Brandy Behr

The Rías Baixas region in the northwest corner of Spain just above Portugal benefits from a maritime climate – moist springtimes, hot and fairly dry summers, and relatively mild winters. It also boasts a hilly terrain with rocky granite soil. These features are common in many prominent wine-making areas as they tend to be ideal for grape production, but not as much for other crops.

The vineyard of Lagar de Cervera founded in 1982 is in the O Rosal subzone, the inlet farthest south in Rías Baixas, and their vineyards actually cover the northern slopes of the Miño River, across from the popular Vinho Verde region of Portugal.

In 1988, famed Rioja wine producers La Rioja Alta purchased Lagar de Cervera and brought their facilities to state of the art. To date, the winery has become one of the star names of the Rías Baixas.

Albariño has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the last couple of decades with sommeliers recommending it as a fresh alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for pairings with seafood. Their relatively good price points also make them popular with diners.

Galicia (where Rias Baixas is located) is known for a wide variety of delicious seafood; from classic cod and hake to octopus, spider crabs, and clams. It follows that wines that would complement these dished would develop right alongside.

The Lagar de Cervera 2017 is considered a very solid wine from an excellent vintage for Spanish wines averaging 89 to 91 ratings on various wines sites.

The wine is a pale-yellow and brilliantly clear. It has an intense aroma with tropical notes of citrus, pineapple, and ripe melon. The taste carries through the tropical notes plus ripe green apple and hints of dry grass. The wine has a pleasant buttery mouth-feel from a large portion having undergone malolactic fermentation. True to its varietal, the wine has medium-high acidity with a long persistent finish.

Though quite nice on its own, we recently served this wine with both Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo and with traditional Seafood Gumbo and found that it enhanced both dishes beautifully.

The Lagar de Cervera like most Albariños is at a very modest price point of about $20, making it an ideal wine for large celebrations or for just having more frequently.

Richard Arebalo
OTL Features Editor

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