Yesterday I had the good fortune to be invited to a business lunch at Fillaboa, a winery very close to the Portuguese border at Salvaterra do Miño. Fillaboa means good daughter in the Galician language. As far as vineyards in this part of the world go it’s quite a big one, seventy odd hectares enclosed by a stone perimeter wall that hides a beautiful 18th century pazo or mansion house, complete with chapel and stunning art collection. Other eye-catching features are the horreo, a stone built storage facility propped up by squat granite columns or stilts, and a fabulously preserved bridge built in the 12th century. On to the wine. Fillaboa is a part of the Masaveu group which includes Murua, a wine from the Rioja Alavesa. Whilst I quite like Rioja, I was here for the Rías Baixas stuff, and in particular an Albariño going by the name of Fillaboa Selección Monte Alto.
The winemaker selects only the best grapes from the finest ‘pago’ in the winery and after 14 months fermentation over lees in stainless steel vats, the end result is this magnificent Albariño. Visually it’s a lemony yellow, in the nose there’s fleshy fruit, peach, apricot, loquat, quince with a touch of toasted confits. In the mouth there’s that unmistakeable Rías Baixas minerality, sheer elegance with a superb, killing you softly finish. As with all Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Valdeorras, Monterrei and Ribeira Sacra whites, serve only lightly chilled at around 7 or 8 degrees centigrade. I can only imagine that the evolution in the bottle will be spectacular, good for at least six years. Fillaboa exports to the USA and to the UK so locating a bottle in your local wine store should be a relatively painless procedure.