Pazo de Barrantes Albarino 2011
Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain
The wine is straw yellow in color, with greenish nuances, bright and well-defined. It is a voluptuous white wine with surprising bottle longevity preserving its citrus, fruity and floral fragrances of grapefruits, pears and white flowers. In the mouth it reveals its elegant personality, freshness and varietal character with a pleasant and well-defined texture. All through the mouth it displays a succulent feeling, adding a certain muscular structure balanced by a smooth-as-silk acidity with a persistent and lengthy finish.
International Wine Cellar - "Light yellow. Complex, floral-accented aromas and flavors of pear, candied citrus peel, herbs and ginger. Textured but taut, with strong mineral backbone and a penetrating, spicy finish. This will be very flexible at the table, or it could be drunk by itself."
Pazo de Barrantes Winery
In the heart of the Salnés valley in the Rías Baixas, the Creixell family project continues, with a further 12 hectares of vineyard — the Pazo de Barrantes Estate — and a winery in its center that carries the Estate's name. The imposing 16th century manor house, the family home, shares the same values as the Rioja Estate and offers since its origins in 1991 the finest wines possible, while always maintaining true albariño character through the use of the latest technology. Pazo de Barrantes continues to consolidate itself as the leading, quality winery of the Rias Baixas. View all Pazo de Barrantes Wines
About Rias BaixasView a map of Rias Baixas wineries (REE-ez BUY-shuss) Spain's prominent white wine region. Situated in Galacia, the region is wet and rainy with some large temperature changes due to its proximity to the coast. The main grape of note here is Albarino, the white variety known for creating fragrant and fruity wines perfect for seafood. The bottles are easily recognized as they all print “Albarino” on their label.
Notable FactsThere are sub-districts in Rias Baixas, a few of them are more prone to blending Albarino with some other indigenous grapes, which can make the wines more aromatic or fuller-bodied. Both single variety Albarino and blended wines excel in this area. Aromatic and light, one whiff of these whites may bring thoughts of a Sauvignon Blanc, but after one sip the creamy texture says otherwise. Typical aromas and flavors are peach, honeysuckle, lime and vanilla.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.