Drink.  Learn.  Laugh.  Repeat.

Welcome Back!Sign in here:

Not Registered?Become one of our thirsty clan 303,866 strong:

Register Today!

Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Albarino 2015 Wine Review

Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Albarino 2015

Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Albarino 2015

Gisborne, New Zealand

Community Score:89/100

Community Reviews: 10

  Add My Review

Price: $18.00

Drink: 2015-2018

Bottle size: 750 ml

Alcohol: 13%

Sweetness: Dry

Wine Type: White Wine

Winery: Villa Maria

Agent: Philippe Dandurand Wines Ltd.

Pricing & Stock Information

  • 65367
  • $24.54 
  • Check Stock
  • AGLC
  • 771445

Reviews and Ratings

Cora Beaulieu rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

Platinum yellow. Lovely aromas of white nectarine, crushed shells, hints of brine and floral notes. Definitely some lemony and stone-fruit characters. The acidity is incredibly dry (this is a good thing) but yet has a silky mouthfeel and refreshing finish. Tastes of ripe stone-fruit, minerals and apples. Very tangy and fresh and has a long, mineral-edged finish.
Sylvain Segard rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

The black sheep of the Villa Maria wine herd, so to speak. The Albariño grape, which would you normally find in Spain, is a rare find in New Zealand. The Bell vineyard was planted in 2009 and, based on this small cuvée of 250 cases, this experiment promises fine vintages for the future.

Medium yellow gold in colour. Aromas of ripe peaches, white flowers, citrus, and honey. This lovely wine has a dry and textured mouthfeel with stone fruit flavours that linger in the mouth over a firm acidity and long briny finish, which would make it a great pair for shellfish. Score 91. (Reviewed Nov. 2016)
Jane Staples - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 90/100 with the following review:

When Villa Maria discovered that they had a good climate for Albariño , they imported vine cuttings from Spain to plant in their Gisborne vineyards. Success! This fragrant, extra-dry white has refreshing aromas and flavours of lime, peach, apricot and honeysuckle. The bright acidity makes it a terrific match with shellfish and it has a delicate, pleasing finish.
Tasted Nov. 2016
Lynn van der Linde - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 90/100 with the following review:

I was honoured to taste this wine with Villa Maria viticulturist, Ollie Powery in mid-November 2016 during his visit to Canada. This wine had not yet been tasted in Ontario, and as such you may have to make a special field trip to Gisborne, New Zealand to taste this gem!

This was a fun and rewarding experiment for the wine making team at Villa Maria, as the Albarino grape is typically grown in the northwestern regions of Spain, where the climate is humid and the soils are mostly composed of granite. In comparison, Gisborne, located in the northeastern part of New Zealand enjoys significant rainfall as well, but has more of a silt and clay soil composite. Girborne is known for growing more aromatic wine like Viognier and Pinot Gris, which is actually very similar to Albarino.

A gorgeous bouquet of fresh stone fruit, lime, and floral notes fill the bowl, with and distinct saltiness on the palate and a lingering fruit finish. This wine would be perfect with light fish dishes, seafood, or summer salads.
Tasted Nov 2016.
Matt Steeves - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 89/100 with the following review:

Albarino is not a grape you hear in the same phrase as New Zealand as this varietal is most common in Spain, in fact the meaning of Albarino is 'the white (wine) from the Rhine'. That didn't stop Villa Maria from experimenting with this unique varietal sourced from Gisborne region in NZ. The nose shows sweet botanicals, apricot, almonds, and a sea breeze briney note. The palate is crisp with a slightly pithy texture and more of that briney character surrounding the sweet fruit. Ideally suited for enjoying with seafood, Spanish tapas, and terrific with calamari with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. At only 250 cases produced, you'll be hard pressed to get your hands on one of these in North America, but if you do, I'd highly recommend buying a few and enjoying in the summer sun. Tasted November 2016. 89 points. Matt Steeves - www.quercusvino.ca
Lori Kilmartin - WSET3 Sommelier rated this wine as 89/100 with the following review:

After a visit to Spain the owner of Villa Maria decided that the area and soils of Gisborne would be suitable to grow the Albarino Grape. First planted in 2009 the first vintage was released in 2011. Five years later this 2015 is a great expression of the varietal; aromas of citrus and white stone fruit, mouth-watering acidity and a long dry, mineral finish. A great pairing for almost any kind of seafood. Only 250 cases were made in 2015 so if you get your hands on some - call me!! Tasted November 15, 2016.
Monique Sosa - Accredited Sommelier rated this wine as 89/100 with the following review:

This sounds like an oddball but from my experience, Villa Maria embraces the bizarre. So, why not? This wine shows intense citrus, honey, and sea salt notes. This wine is medium-bodied with high scrumptious acidity and clean refreshing finish. Enjoy with a seafood antipasti salad. tasted Nov 2016 @sommsosa | bespoketatsings.ca
Rachelle O'Connor rated this wine as 89/100 with the following review:

An Albarino from New Zealand! These vines were planted quite a distance from home - only about 250 cases of this wine were produced for this vintage. There is lots of peach and lime on the nose, a distinct minerality and lovely flavors of more peach and lime on the palate. The 2015 Gisborne vintage was exposed to lots of hot dry days and increased the ripeness of the fruit - although Villa Maria's Viticulturist Ollie Powrie can't take credit for the grapes he is quite fond of the final product - a lovely accompaniment to fresh squid on the barbecue.
Pamela Chiles rated this wine as 88/100 with the following review:

Here is a unique wine - Albarino from New Zealand! Crafted from vines planted in 2009, half a world away from their home in Spain, and made in very limited quantities (~250 cases). Aromas open with fresh citrus and stone fruit notes; very focused lemon-lime, nutty flavours with a trace of salinity and a hint of smokiness. Crisp and dry and very refreshing. Happily pairs with light shellfish and seafood dishes.

If you liked the Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Albarino 2015, you might also like these wines:




Join me in a free online video class to learn the secrets to perfect pairings.

Wine of the Week

As featured on  

CTV Wine of the Week!

Antinori Red Wine
Bolgheri, Tuscany D.O.C. ...

Natalie MacLean

Canada's Most Quoted Wine Writer

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 303,866 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.



Know the wines you want before you even get to the store with my wine reviews. Join now. It's free.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


Access my reviews on mobile with the bar code scanner.


Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a feisty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  




Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award