Two weeks ago a few lucky members of the O'Briens Wine Team visited Galicia for a whistle-stop tour of this beautiful, proudly Celtic part of northern Spain. To find out about our trip to Lagar de Costa check out my previous blog post.
On our final morning, we were guests with Bodegas Granbazán, a striking blue-fronted winery, modeled on a French Château: the excellent producers behind our customer-favourite Contrapunto Albariño. The winery was founded in 1980 and is located across 13 hectares of the Salnés valley, in the heart of Rías Baixas. From its origins, it was a pioneer in driving forward the quality and varietal character of Galician Albariño and was a key figure in the current success of the region. More recently Granbazán was bought by the well-known Rioja house, Bodegas Baigorri, who have invested heavily in the future of the winery.
Part of this investment was to bring in Marcial Dorado as their new head winemaker. Marcial was born in the region and worked with the Albariño variety in Spain and Portugal: the grape 'runs through his veins'.
An inspiring character, he aims to further improve an already impressive range of wines. Marcial strives for each bottle of wine to be as crisp and fresh as if 'the fruit was picked that morning', whilst retaining the saline minerality that is typical of Rías Baixas. This complex character comes from the salty air blowing in from the Atlantic ocean and the shallow local granitic soil that forms the bedrock of the region.
Following a guided tour through the pergola-trianed vineyards we were treated to a seafood buffet: the perfect marriage for the wines of Bodegas Granbazán.
The Contrapunto was delicious as always, but the Granbazán Limousin was a big hit with the staff. Aged in French oak, this is an unusual expression of Albariño, adding a richness and depth of flavour that would appeal to the white Burgundian drinker. Available in your local O'Briens or online.