Pazo Barrantes La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes
Rías Baixas, Spain
The Wine Advocate
February 28, 2019, Luis Gutiérrez
“One of two bottled vintages of their top cuvée I tasted, the 2015 La Comtesse is from one of the healthiest and more powerful vintages of recent times. A vintage like this suits the longer aging and élevage in oak for this pure Albariño from a plot of old vines. It fermented in 3,000-liter French oak vats at low temperature for around 60 days. It was kept in these vats for 12 months, the first six with the lees, followed by eight months in concrete tanks before bottling. It has a subtly creamy nose with smoky notes and something reminiscent of condensed milk and crème brûlée, intermixed with notes of bay leaf and yellow fruit. 2015 was a warm and powerful year, and the wines show concentration and clout. It has a round palate, with volume, length and clean flavors. There is more freshness in these last few vintages, especially in cooler years like 2016, and better integration of the oak, providing depth and not overpowering aromas or flavors, as the variety is quite aromatic and somewhat fragile. 7,119 bottles were filled in December 2017.”
La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes grapes are sourced from Pago Cacheiro — a single-vineyard, old-vine plot within Marqués de Murrieta’s 12-hectare estate of Pazo Barrantes — located in Salnés Valley, Rías Baixas D.O. of Galicia, Spain. The family behind the well-known Rioja estate Marqués de Murrieta produces La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes and founded the winery in 1991 to make the highest quality albariño. The wine’s true albariño character is a direct reflection of the Creixell family’s core values of quality and estate-owned vineyards, paired with a modern winemaking approach and the latest technology.
The albariño bunches are destemmed before pressing to avoid any herb flavors, then the grapes are pressed slowly and gently to respect and extract the intense aromatic potential that these old vine grapes provide. Once the juice is settled, fermentation takes place in temperature controlled (50ºF) a 3,000-litre French Allier oak vat for 60 days. In effort to gain more volume on the palate and a balanced mouth-feel, the wine is left in contact with its fine lees for six 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.
La Comtesse allows for bolder pairings with different textures and flavors. Seared crayfish with fresh pasta and vegetables; grilled lobster with
mayonnaise; steamed prawns with mustard and truffle oil; warm shrimp salad withhoney mustard and green apples. The recommended serving temperature is 55ºF to 57ºF, allowing the flavors and complexity to show at their best.
Varietals: 100% Albariño
Bottling Date: December 18, 2017