Albariño ‘Barbuntin’ Rías Baixas, Quinta de Couselo, Galicia 2016
Quinta de Couselo, Rías Baixas, O Rosal, Galicia
“Flagship producer in O Rosal, one of the five sub-regions of Rías Baixas.” Christelle Guibert, Decanter March 2016
José Gonzalez and his brother Javier have worked hard to restore these ancient vineyards, which cover just over 6 hectares. Respecting Quinta de Couselo’s age-old traditional winemaking, winemaker José Manuel Martínez Juste produces seriously elegant and precise wines, which reflect the estate’s unique terroir. Built in 1163 by the monks of the Monasterio de Santa Maria de Oia, Quinta de Couselo is located in the southernmost part of the Rías Baixas DO in the O Rosal Valley, bordered to the south by the mouth of the Miño River and influenced by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The fine stone pazo, or manor house, is watched over by a pair of parasol pines, which are featured on its elegant labels. The special microclimate here is thus one of mild temperatures, abundant rainfall and sunshine hours required for excellent grape ripening. The vines are grown on sedimentary soils: granite and slate, and are deep and rich in organic matter to lend good acidity to the fruit and resulting wines. The varieties grown are Albariño, Caiño Blanco, Loureiro and Treixadura. All viticultural practices are chosen to be fully compatible with the protection and improvement of the natural environment (integrated production). Harvesting typically takes place during the second half of September, when the grapes reach optimum ripeness. All carried out manually, in plastic boxes of 20 kilos capacity. The harvest of each of the different grape varieties is conducted separately. Once in the winery, the carefully selected grapes are 100% destemmed. The pneumatic press, set at low pressure, extracts the juice very gently. The juice is cooled and allowed to decant prior to temperature-controlled fermentation (16-17°C) in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. After ageing on the lees for several months, the wine is clarified, cold stabilized, sterile filtered and bottled.
Rías Baixas ‘Barbuntin’: sourced from selected plots, as well as from other respected growers. Selection of grapes in the vineyard. Temperature control from receipt of the grapes. Further selection of grapes, by cluster, on the sorting table. Light maceration of whole grapes in cold storage before pressing. Separation of musts. Static racking. Low temperature fermentation. Ageing on fine lees for 4 months. Clarification, stabilization and sterile filtration prior to bottling in June.
Recommended by Decanter as one of their top value Spanish and Portuguese wines for under £20, Rias Baixas 'Barbuntin' Quinta de Couselo 2015 is a wonderfully aromatic Albariño with a crushed oyster shell minerality and crisp acidity that screams out to be paired with seafood.