Back in 2010, when Palmer Vineyards and its Spanish-born winemaker Miguel Martin released Long Island’s first Albariño, Martin told me, “I think Long Island may be blessed with the kind of conditions perfect for the production and growing of Albariño because of the similar weather patterns.”
That first wine, made from fruit grown on vines planted in 2007, showed promise. I thought it was fresh, bright and delicious — just as Albarino should be. “I am very excited about the future potential of this variety in Long Island,” Martin told me at the time.
He’s not alone. Since that first release, not only has Palmer had a great string of successful vintages of Albarino — but that success has inspired others to plant the grape. You can expect it to show up in other tasting rooms in coming years.
For now, we can enjoy this week’s Wine of the Week, the just-released Palmer Vineyards 2017 Albariño ($29). There’s less of it to go around this year (you can blame the winter of 2016 for that), but the quality remains high.
It begins with a melange of tropical fruits with light floral aromas on a highly aromatic nose. In the mouth, it’s juicy and dry with more tropical qualities, but also brisk Granny Smith apple flavors and acidity that lead into a wonderful saline minerality on a long finish.
We’ve experienced a bit of a slow start to spring, but this wine has me ready for the months ahead and all the foods the spring and summer seasons bring to Long Island.
This wine is available for $29 in the winery’s Riverhead tasting room.