Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Awesome Albarino - new wine of the week

Wine of the week, 15 May 2023

Albarino is a white Spanish grape that is thriving in New Zealand's maritime climate, which bears an uncanny resemblance to its homeland in north west Spain where high rainfall is the order of the day. That might just account for why this grape has thick skins; has it evolved, over time, to develop them in response to its homeland's climate? The answer might be elusive but the wine is delicious thanks to its naturally high acidity and intense flavours of green herbs, green olives and a salty tangy taste that makes it sing with fresh seafood but even if fish isn't your thing, Albarino's tangy taste and freshness make it well suited to great white wines with enticing freshness. It also has the ability to age. All of which make it a stand out wine to watch.  


2019 Tohu Whenua Matua Upper Moutere Albarino RRP $30.99

Wines tasting of lemon, green olive brine and saltiness may not sound incredibly alluring but this is a delicious and excellent quality expression of Albarino which is made with grapes grown in the Upper Moutere Valley in Nelson. It tastes fresh, bright, boldly flavoursome and incredibly youthful, even though it is now four years old. Albarino is a relative newcomer to New Zealand’s vineyards and it is showing more high quality potential than any other experimental new grape over the past 20 years+. It is proving to be incredibly well suited to New Zealand's maritime climate and winemakers in this country are producing wines of real character, such as this one.