The wines made in the astonishing aqua-marine palacio of Granbazan, near Cambados, in the Rias Baixas region of Galicia are classic examples of this fashionable variety. One of the original wineries in the region, Granbazan has recently been bought by the owners of Bodegas Baigorri; a new-wave Rioja producer, but their plan for the winery is more evolution than revolution. Granbazan is an old-fashioned place, in the best sense of the phrase, and the traditions (including the wonderfully retro labels) aren’t going to disappear any time soon.
A lot of modern Albariño is too ripe for my tastes; the variety should have a streak of ‘nervosity’ to accompany the fruit. Granbazan Ambar is steely, but with the extra depth, richness and complexity that comes from time spent on its lees. The wine is entirely fermented in stainless steel, with bright citrus and crisp apple flavours, and with a tinge of white honey and freshly cut white flowers on the finish. Most people don’t realise that top-quality Albariño can age. Buy a case, drink 11 bottles and put one away for a couple of years; the results might surprise you!