Although Pazo Barrantes has been the ancestral home to the Creixell family (owners of renowned Riojan labels Marques de Murrieta and Castillo Ygay) since the 15th century and where Albariño has been grown and made for generations, it was not until 1982, when the vineyards were re-planted and 1991, when the winery was built, that it became a commercial winery.
Located in the Salnés valley, the winery boasts 12 hectares that surround the 16th century Galician Palace. All the vines are trained high on supporting wires in the “Parral” trellis system, as is the local tradition, to guard against mildew and rot, and to assist ripening. The soil is sandy, acidic and shallow. Production is around 200,000 bottles per year.
First, the oldest vine bunches are de-stemmed before gentle pressing. Temperature controlled fermentation (10 ºC) takes place in a 3,000 litre French Allier wooden vat for 50 days. To add more weight to the palete, the wine is left in contact with its own fine lees for three months. La Comtesse then remains in this vat for a further 12 months. Afterwards the wine is aged in bottle for other 12 months before release.
A very warm spring resulted in an early flowering, during the first half of May. Summer was largely dry, cool and overcast, and owing to the warm spring, the 2011 harvest was one of the earliest ever recorded. The cool summer resulted in wines of low alcohol, and slightly higher acidity.
Pale straw with gold highlights. Persistent aroma of white flowers and spice. The texture is creamy and soft to the finish. Seductive but restrained flavours fill the palate. Dry and silky finish with long aftertaste of white peaches and vanilla.
Crayfish and crab, white meats, sushi, cow and sheep’s cheeses served with glazed fruit and foie.
Serve at 12º-14º C. Open one hour before serving.
Rias Baixas, Spain