Damon Little is Beverage Manager for Nathan Outlaw Restaurants and Sommelier for Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, showcasing his wines through his blog. With a true passion for wine and food pairing and viticulture, he has a particular interest in exceptional wine from unusual grapes, small-yields or practices which sets particular vineyards apart in producing character and most importantly, quality. Click here to read Damon’s full bio.
Albariño 2010, Bodegas Bouza, Montevideo, Uruguay
Albariño is one of my personal favourite versatile seafood accompanying varietals. This delightful grape is always associated with Galicia which is located in the extreme North-West corner of Spain. To be honest, it should be because it is indigenous to Galicia.
However, in my spare time I enjoy researching variations of great wine produced “off the beaten track” in order to provide our guests an eclectic mix of wines which they can take advantage of by choosing to indulge in our accompanying wine flight, or should I say journey? I discovered a family who are “indigenous“ to Galicia but are growing Albariño in Montevideo, the Capital of Uruguay. This makes them unique because they are currently the only winery to grow and produce Albariño in Uruguay, which in my opinion is exceptional wine!
This winery is best known as Boutique Bodegas Bouza which was established by Elize and Juan Bouza when they bought, in 2002, an abandoned winery that was built in 1942. Working on a smaller scale produces better wines is their ethos and is embraced by their winemaker, Dr. Eduardo Boida.
550 cases of Albariño wine are produced annually from 1.8 hectares of vines. All the grapes are handpicked in early February. Fermentation is divided between 70% stainless steel and 30% barrel, with a period of 3 months lees contact.
Nathan has made great use of the tasty Port Isaac Crab, which is actually only one element on his dish and is served as a generous quenelle. This is accompanied with apple, fennel and Porthilly sauce. Whilst eating this dish, our guests can gaze out the window to view Porthilly Farm that provides Nathan with either Velvet or Shore Crabs which make the base of the delectable Porthilly sauce. The small crustacean is roasted to extract the immense crab flavour which is then combined with roasted tomatoes laced with tarragon. These elements reduced together create what is simply known as Porthilly sauce.
The Albariño from Botique Bodegas Bouza excites the palate with the initial flavours, a combination of mandarin, grapefruit and orange peels which have been caramelized. This then develops into ripe stone fruit with a refreshing orange blossom finish! The floral flavours compliment the apple, fennel and quenelle of white crab meat. The citrus and stone fruit base is adequately aromatic to stand up to the Porthilly sauce without overpowering any of the lighter elements on the plate.