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. Grapes are sourced from Cacheiro single-vineyard, an old-vine plot within our 12-hectare estate called Pazo de Barrantes located in the Salnes valley (Rías Baixas D.O. Galicia).
First of all the Albariño bunches are de-stemmed before pressing. Afterwards the grapes are gently pressed to respect and boost the intense aromatic potential obtained from these old vine grapes. Juice settling. Temperature controlled alcoholic fermentation (10 ºC) takes place in a 3.000-litre French Allier oak vat for 60 days. In the pursuit of gaining more volume on the palate and a balanced mouth feel, the wine is left in contact with its fine lees for 6 months. La Comtesse remains in this same wooden vat for 12 months further. Afterwards the wine is aged in bottle for another 12 months before release.
2013 was the second largest harvest in the history of the DO, second only to 2011 . It was significantly larger than in 2012. The harvest had to be fast, given the changeable weather and botryis did affect a small proportion of the crop.
White flowers, pears and soft spice with a hint of lime. A creamy texture, full bodied with a long developing finish of white peaches and vanilla.
Seared crayfish with fresh pasta and vegetables; Grilled lobster with acid mayonnaise; Steamed prawns with mustard and truffle oil; Warm shrimp salad with honey mustard and green apples.
Serve at 12º-14º C. Open one hour before serving.
Parker – Wine Advocate (Usa): 93 points. The best vintage of La Comtesse so far. It shows a brilliant combination between volume and freshness when tasting it. If you want to combine Albariño grape with oak, this is the way to do it.
Rias Baixas, Spain