96 points, “The know-how of one of Spain’s top white winemakers, Marqués de Murrieta, shows in this, one of the most genuine, complex Albariños… Impressively built, retaining delicious juiciness.” – Decanter Magazine
Burgundy meets Albariño. Rioja legends Marqués de Murrieta – producers of probably the greatest Spanish white wine ever created in Castillo Ygay White Gran Reserva Especial – also own a little-known plot of old vine Albariño in Rías Baixas. Within that estate lies the Cacheiro vineyard, the jewel in the crown that has produced La Comtesse de Pazo de Barrantes since 2009. Fermented and aged in 3,000-litre oak vats for 18 months, including six on the lees to add a creamy yeastiness, it feels like Grand Cru Albariño.
Pulling the cork you’ll discover a creamy, buttery, complex and super serious white. Packed with exotic spices, apricot frangipane tart, melon and yeast, it has a long, elegant finish that seems to have been shot directly from a lemon laser. (Apologies for making up ‘lemon laser’ – sadly, it doesn’t exist – but probably should for no other reason than to describe this exceptional wine.)
La Comtesse is the kind of left field choice that would work beautifully with Christmas dinner and all the trimmings, but could also be paired with crayfish, lobster, mustard-glazed baked ham and applesauce, truffled potatoes, or creamy sauces. Marqués de Murrieta’s staggering Riojas owe a lot to Bordeaux, but the great Chardonnays of Burgundy seem to influence their stunning Albariño estate.