From last week’s Sunday Tribune magazine, my column on Godello.
Godello (pronounced “Go-day-oh”) is a grape very much on the up. It’s virtually unique to Valdeorras in the northwestern Spanish province of Galicia but there’s also some grown next door in Bierzo. Like many indigenous grapes elsewhere in Spain, Italy and Portugal, it has been brought back from near extinction. If you’re looking for something different, then it’s a must-try white.
Val de Sil, Valdeorras 2008
Expect to pay: €18
Val de Sil dates back to 1885 when grower José Ramón Gayoso planted Godello on the high, slate slopes of the Sil valley. Since then, vineyard land was sold and bought back by the original family.
This Godello has everything, lovely fruit, floral aromas, a soft mellow texture and lots of minerality. This wine has everything. A must-try.
Available: independent wine shops and from spanishwines.ie
Tempestad, Valdeorras 2009
Expect to pay: €15
Tempestad means tempest or storm, regular occurrences in Valdeorras as rain filled clouds, brought by winds from the Atlantic, and dump their payload onto the mountains below.
The climate, coupled with the steeply inclined mountains seem to provide the perfect environment for the Godello which grows here. Partial oak ageing adds to the complexity of this wine. Rich, creamy and full of minerals.
Gabo do Xil, Valdeorras 2009
Expect to pay: €14-€15
Xil is Galician for Sil, the river which cuts through the steep slate slopes. But if we’re to mention names, then Telmo Rodriguez should also be included. He’s the winemaker, and one of a new generation of Spanish winemakers who are bringing little known regions and grapes to the world stage.
In his Godello, he has created a masterpiece. Rich, perfumed, tropical, silky. Another stunning example of how this small region in northwest Spain is destined for greatness.
Capricho, Val de Paxariñas, Bierzo 2009
Expect to pay: €17
The Capricho Val de Paxariñas is from Galicia’s provincial neighbour, Castilla y León, from another rising region, Bierzo.
Thanks to Spanish import and importer, Antonio Lorente of Vinostito, this is widely available and one of the best examples of Godello (though Doña Blanca, another native grape, makes up around 25% of the blend). Lots of tropical flavours, a little mint and a generous creamy texture.
Available: good wine shops and from spanishwines.ie