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 concrete tank for another 12 months.
The growing season was far more typical in Rías Baixas this year featuring more rain and moderate summer temperatures. As rain continued into May, together with low temperatures, there were fears that volumes would be down. Thanks to settled sunny and dry weather with moderate temperatures over August and September the key ripening period was very positive and grape quality was generally very good as the harvest started in early September.
An infinite nose where lychee, quince fruit and lemon peel flavours, harmonize gracefully with hints of acacia flowers, fennel and eucalyptus. A minerality edge provides refinement to the whole. Harmonious mouthfeel, its silky texture leads to an endless finish.
“The breadth of this wine suggests a development that will continue for decades” María Vargas, Technical Director.
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.
GUÍA PROENSA (SPAIN): 99 POINTS.
GUÍA GOURMETS (SPAIN): 97 POINTS.
GUÍA PEÑIN (SPAIN): 96 POINTS.
TIM ATKIN (UK): 96 POINTS.
JAMES SUCKLING (USA): 95 POINTS.
Rias Baixas, Spain