Monday, June 19, 2023

Familia Torres getting the very best from Albarino in Rías Baixas

Familia Torres getting the very best from Albarino in Rías Baixas

Pazo das Bruxas Albarino Rías Baixas (DO) 2022, 13% ABV

€19.95 Bradleys, North Main Street, Cork. 

The fresh aromas, even as the cork is released, hint that this is indeed an Albarino from the Rías Baixas,  a small winemaking region in Galicia, northwest Spain (the Green Spain). The colour is a clear light gold and there are aromas with both floral and fruit characters, all intense. And that intensity of engagement spreads onto the crisp and minerally palate, rich and flavourful, with apple and pear, and balanced by an acidity typical of the region and the grape.

Very Highly Recommended.

I first tasted this Pazo das Bruxas back in 2015. I had a distinguished guide, none other than Miguel Torres, one of the family’s fifth generation. He said it has good density and finish and added that Albarino can age well, 7 or 8 years, and can get more complex. This is excellent as it is,  with great freshness and flavour. That was the 2013 vintage and it seems the 2022 is keeping up the high standard.

That 2013 was perhaps the first Torres Albarino from this vineyard. It was only in 2012 that the fifth generation of Familia Torres launched a winegrowing project in Rías Baixas and made its first Albariño with the name of Pazo das Bruxas. This wine is made from grapes grown primarily in the subzone of the Valle de Salnés.


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Attention to the world around them and to detail in their winemaking is typical of the Torres family. No magic, just a lot of hard work. But you will notice witches on the front label as Pazo Das Bruxas pay homage to the folklore and landscape of Galicia (much of it with strong Celtic connections). 

It tells the tale of the Galician witches said to have gathered in the woods, which surrounded some pazos or manor houses, to conjure up spirits with their dances and spells. “Nourished by their energy, the sap or lifeblood then coursed through the vines, in the same way, the Albariño grapes give life to this wine today.”

Magic or no, this outstanding multi-award-winning wine serves as an excellent aperitif and is good with raw, cooked or grilled seafood. Pairs perfectly with mild, white fish. Its lively palate strikes a perfect balance with soft goat cheeses. A good wine for Irish cuisine then and no wonder that Albarino has become so popular here.


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Torres, always aware of climate change, says the 2022 harvest in Torre Penela was one of the earliest in recent memory, “brought forward by 12 days compared to the previous year. The winter was extremely dry and warm, followed by an equally dry spring with episodes of nighttime frost, one of which affected part of the vineyard and brought down yields. There was no rainfall in the summer, and the intense heat increased the pace of fruit maturation. After the three summer months, rainfall during the first week of September brought up yields somewhat and helped regulate both the alcohol and acidity of the wines. The grapes were in excellent condition.”

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