92

2012 Bodega Castro Martin Albariño, Rías Baixas

( £11.99 down to £8.99, 12.5%, Marks & Spencer )

Angela Martin’s wines seem to get better with every vintage and are now among my favourite Albariños from Rías Baixas. The combination of low yields, ageing on lees in tank for added weight and very pure, almost transparent fruit flavours is very enticing here: apple, pear and some quince with a hint of honey. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, White, Albariño
87

2012 The Society's Vinho Verde, Minho

( £5.95, 11.5%, The Wine Society )

Summer may be over (at least in northern Europe), but this is still a delicously refreshing, low-alcohol Portuguese white that’s just the thing for sunny afternoons. It’s commendably cheap, too. Tangy, spritzy and zingy, it’s floral and dry with palate-tickling acidity and a citrus fruit bite. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, White, Albariño, Loureiro
91

2012 The Society's Albariño, Rías Baixas

( £12.95, 13%, The Wine Society )

If you’re going to use one winery as your source of house Albariño, Pazo de Señorans is a great choice. This is weighty and concentrated by local standards, showing aromas of lime blossom and fresh straw, crisp, apple and citrus fruit and an undertone of stony minerality. Long and very stylish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, White, Albariño
89

2011 Finest* Albariño, Rías Baixas

( £7.99 down to £5.99, 12.5%, Tesco )

It’s a reflection of how Albariño, one of Spain’s best white grapes, has entered the UK mainstream that the major supermarkets nearly all have own-label examples these days. This is from the ever-dependable Martin Codax, and it’s a classy example of the style, showing some spritz, floral aromas, tangy acidity and notes of citrus and honeysuckle. Very quaffable. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, White, Albariño
90

2012 Taste the Difference Albariño, Val do Salnés, Rías Baixas

( £7.99 down to £5.99, 12.5%, Sainsbury's )

Classic Alabriño from the Val do Salnés sub region of Rías Baixas on Spain’s Atlantic coast, showing lots of floral perfume, notes of pepper and aniseed, zesty acidity and a bone dry, seafood friendly finish. Spain’s answer to Muscadet, but with a flavour that is all its own. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, White, Albariño
88

2012 Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde

( £5.99, 11%, Majestic )

If summer ever arrives in the UK – come to think of it, spring would be welcome, too – this is a wine that I’d be happy to have in my fridge or ice bucket. Crisp and aromaitic, with notes of fresh limes and lemon peel, showing a touch of spritz and tastebud-tingling acidity. Tangy and light, it’s the sort of wine I could drink all afternoon. Portugal at its value for money best. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, White, Albariño
90

2011 Tercius Alvarinho, Vinho Verde

( £9.99, 12.5%, Marks & Spencer )

Alvarinho is exactly the same grape as Albariño – it’s just grown on the other side of the Minho River in Portugal, as opposed to Spain. In fact, it’s one of the key grapes in Vinho Verde, althoiugh it’s often blended with other grapes. This is typically floral and fresh, but with more weight than many Vinhos Verdes, with notes of lime and pear and a chalky, palate-cleansing minerality. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Portugal, White, Albariño
93

2011 Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño, Rías Baixas

( £15.99 down to £11.99, 13%, Waitrose )

The website is still showing the 2010 vintage, but both are very tasty, so don’t worry. This is my summer white when I’m on holiday in Spain, but it still tastes good in the autumn and winter, provided the dish is right. Spritzy and refreshing with delicious bite and crunch, this is aromatic and fine with notes of lime, fresh apple and white flowers. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-2015Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, White, Albariño
94

2011 Palacio de Fefiñanes Albariño, Rías Baixas

( £15.19, 12.5%, Waitrose )

This is consistenly one of my very favourite Albariños (and Spanish whites for that matter) from the historic Fefiñanes winery. It’s spritzy, perfumed and refreshing with that Riesling-like crispness that you get in the best Galician whites, notes of pear and stone fruit and a long, satisfying, palate-tingling finish. The taste of (green) Spain. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, White, Albariño
91

2011 Lagar de Costa Albariño, Rias Baixas, Galicia

( £11.50, 12.5%, The Wine Society )

The old vine (60 years to be precise) concentration really comes through in this refreshing Galician white. Focused, minerally and very long on the palate with notes of lemon zest and lime and a hint of spritz. A really classy Albariño that’s worth paying a little extra for. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Spain, White, Albariño
89

2011 Auzells, Costers del Segre, Catalonia

( £9.95, 13%, The Wine Society )

Made from no fewer than eight varieties (with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Muscat among them), this is an intriguing nothern Spanish white that combines perfume with fruit intensity. Grapey, fresh and lime-scented, it’s a focused, floral dry white with a hint of bitterness on the finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-14Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Spain, White, Albariño, Chardonnay, Macabeo, Muscat of Alexandria, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc

The pick of Waitrose’s wine range

by Tim Atkin
RED 2010 Saumur, Les Nivières (£7.49, 13%) Essence of Loire Cabernet Franc, this unoaked red is a delight: soft and grassy with fresh acidity, no oak and pure blackcurrant and...