Granbazán has developed its own unique and new fermentation process, though the wine is made in a traditional style (not the over-extracted, extremely bright style). Cold maceration is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Granbazán wines. Maceration takes place between 41 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The fermentation tanks are situated above the recipients of the must, meaning that the extracted must is done with the help of gravity. Alcoholic fermentation takes place at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks over 1.5 months. The finished wine then remains in stainless steel tanks for about 8 months to let it mature and soften.
While I am not sure what that all means exactly, it is clear that Granbazán has taken a process and made it their own art, and the results have made quite an impression. Morrell Wine called it the best Albariño they ever tasted (ok, so they are in the business of selling wine). Wine & Spirits named this best Spanish wine of the vintage. Eric Asimov called it a stand out in a tasting of Albariño.
It seems as though you can only get this this from New York. I was able to locate it at Astor Wines & Spirits. As I have stated before, they do have a great selection, and there isn’t another store that shows more care and attention to shipping than Astor. They could ship eggs if they decided to get in the business.
I was anxious to open a bottle when I received my shipment, but was patient for a few days before I indulged. Once opened, it did not disappoint. Medium golden straw in color, almost seems a little oily and viscous in the glass. Floral aromatics with key lime, honeysuckle and apricot. On the palate, refreshing with a bit of zip. Green apple, pear, stone fruits with some citrus and a hint of pineapple. Nice mineral notes and acidity. Rich and a bit thick, nice weight — but elegant. Impressive depth, focus, persistence and purity.
The acidity makes it a good pairing for fish and shellfish, raw protein (ceviche, carpaccio, oysters) — and a great wine with cheese as it is not only acidic but also fairly neutral.
This is probably the best Albariño I have had, and might very well be the best white wine I have ever had from Spain. Actually, it would have been quite difficult for me to pinpoint the country of origin on this wine had I tasted it blind. Due in large part to the traditional style, not being the easy to spot modern style Albariño (extracted, bright, green with in your face tartness and acidity). Though Albariño may not be the most complex wine, this is almost scholarly. Not just an extremely good Albariño, or Spanish white — but an excellent white and a memorable wine. Perhaps not a value wine at $25 a bottle, it is a lot of wine for the money. Recommended.