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viernes, 24 de agosto de 2007

Some wines from Galicia -Spain- in USA

23 August, 2007

Another ‘Day-o’ blog with a different ‘Day-o’
Aromas and flavors hint at apples and lime-blossoms with a reasonably complex aromatic intensity. It is one of Spain’s oldest noble grape varieties, even known in ancient Roman times. It is chiefly found in the basin of the river Sil in the eastern part of cool climate Galicia. If this description is somewhat appealing and makes you curious to try the wine, you likely have been ‘waiting for Godello.’Let me hit you with some knowledge: Godello is also known as Verdello in Spain, which is not to be confused with Verdejo. The vine looks quite similar to the Verdelho of Madeira and the Azores, however their DNAs are distinctly different. Godello as Verdello is a substantial part of the blend in Italy’s Orvieto. Godello is also known as Gouveio in Portugal. Godello based wines have tremendous personality thanks to their freshness, generosity, length, well-balanced acidity and mineral quality. They have the ability to age well in cask and mature in bottle. The vine is early budding and ripening with medium-sized, compact berries. There is a high amount of dry extract which contributes to a rich mouth-feel. Spain had around 2,200 acres planted in 2004, but that number has been increasing as we curious wine-drinkers enable the grower’s spirits by purchasing more Godello wines.
One of our favorite Godellos is from Abad dom Bueno. Abad dom Bueno is situated between rainy Galicia and sunny Castile in Bierzo. In the late 1990s, a group of small, mostly young growers revitalized Bierzo much in the same way that Priorat was rediscovered ten years earlier by resurrecting the previously lackluster wine region. Bierzo has a humid and mild climate that is influenced by the Atlantic with abundant sunshine. The region's vineyards lie at 400 to 800 meters high, sheltered by the Montes de Leon and the Cordillera Cantábrica. Even though the specialty of Bierzo's slopes and terraces is the Mencía grape which yield fruity reds with a spicy character; on these same slopes one can find the Godello grape. From Bierzo, the Abad dom Bueno Godello has fresh tropical fruit character with delicately perfumed aromas. Texturally the wine carries the weight of a nice, medium bodied, un-wooded Chardonnay. This wine has absolutely fresh and pure primary fruit characteristics of pear, melon and lemon. Fresh and charming. This wine has no sulphur added. Hence, no sulfites…Abad dom Bueno Godello 2006, Retail $13.99 Warehouse $9.99
The unofficial home of Godello in Spain is Valdeorras which is the easternmost wine zone of Galicia. Steeply terraced vineyards are planted predominantly with productive vine varieties such as Garnacha Tintorera, Alicante Bouchet and the white Palomino which is famous for the Sherry wines from Jerez. The indigenous white Godello, which had all but disappeared from Galicia in the wake of phylloxera but is being aggressively replanted.Valdeorras was settled by the Romans who took advantage of the microclimate to plant the first vines and build the first presses, thereby establishing a secular culture and tradition of grape-growing and winemaking, the fame of which spread along the Route of Santiago. The fertility of the valleys, the mineral wealth of the mountains and its position as one of the entry points into Galicia lead to Valdeorras being inhabited from the earliest times. The first references to the region and its people are found in Pliny the Elder’s ‘Historiæ Naturalis.’Average vineyard altitude here is between 240 and 350 meters above sea level. The vineyards of Rafael Palacios are located at very high altitude and often on very small terraces. With steep terraces, tractors are a risk and thus much of the vineyard work is performed by hand. The harvest is also carried out by hand. Fermentations and ageing take place in large oak barrels. These containers give additional complexity to this minerally wine without giving a woody character to the wines. The wine is aged on its fine lees for several months, adding a creamy character and refreshing crispness before bottling.2005 is the first vintage of Louro do Bolo, a wine produced from 40- to 50-year-old Godello vines by winemaker Rafael Palacios, brother of the renowned Alvaro Palacios. This light gold-colored tank fermented and aged wine offers notes of mineral, melon, and citrus in its attractive aromatics. This is followed by a smoothly textured wine with excellent depth, intensity, and balance leading to a long, pure finish. Drink this excellent value over the next 12-18 months. 89 points Wine AdvocateRafael Palacios Louro do Bolo Godello 2005, Retail $15.99 Warehouse $12.99The Prada family began to plant Godello in 1885 on old stone terraces high on the hillsides surrounding the river Sil. Many years later, several of these parcels had been sold to other estates, but in 2001, the young generation of the family began buying back these small blocks that had been in their family for generations. They now own almost the entirety of what had been sold and bottle it under “Pezas de Portella”.
The region of Galicia and Valdeoras is heavily influenced by the Atlantic, with high levels of rainfall and relative humidity. Temperatures are quite moderate and the region is extremely fertile, with miles and miles of green rolling hills. The vineyards are planted on these gently rolling hills on alluvial soils. Many of the vineyards sit on the valley floor and the hills just above on soil that is rich in organic material. As much of the vineyard plantings are on very delicate terraces, it is important to maintain a guard against water erosion at Val de Sil. There is grass cover between the rows and the property is cultivated using organic methods. Fermentations take place in stainless steel tanks and ageing is carried out in both tank and wood. Val de Sil fells that the minerality of Godello does not suit well to heavy-handed uses of oak, but that a small amount brings an additional level of complexity to the wines.The 2006 Montenovo is produced from 100% Godello with vines ranging from 35-50 years of age. Tank fermented and aged, this medium straw-colored wine offers a complex array of mineral, melon, and citrus aromas and flavors. With an excellent core of ripe fruit and refreshing balance, this excellent value would match well with shellfish. Drink it over the next 12-18 months. 88 points Wine AdvocateBodegas Val de Sil Montenovo Godello 2006, Retail $11.99 Warehouse $9.99I’d be willing to bet that by serving these three wines, you can lay title to having the first ‘Godello Night’ on your block. Godello is just one more fun alternative to those wishing to escape from another day of Chardonnay. If you’d like, you can call it Verdello night, or maybe Gouveio night………

Origin: Wine Warehouse

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