Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Val de Sil Valdeorras Godello, 2008

When Penny Ross, the wine person at my local D&W market, told me about this wine, I had to ask for several repeeats of the name. Godello? I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't heard of Godello (pronounced Go-Day-O), which may well be the best of all Spanish white wines and slowly gaining recognition in this country. Valdeorras is a mountainous area in Galicia in northern Spain, 100 miles inland, and the old vines cling precariously to the steep slopes, digging their roots deep for sustenance. Val de Sil's 2008 Godello was only about $10 a bottle at that time (2010), and one taste made it clear to me that it is worth at least two or three times that much. The wine needs time, though, to show its mineral charm; only now is the 2008 beginning to unfold. And only now am I beginning to dig into my precious case.

The color is a full lemon yellow; very pretty. I get intriguing mineral scents along with wildflowers, nutmeg, lemon and lemon peel. At 14% alcohol, this wine is probably a bit fuller bodied than most Godellos, but there is no heat or blowsiness to the wine. Has the racy edge of a fine Sancerre combined with the mineral intrigue of a Grand or Premier Cru Chablis. Lemon acidity at the tip and edges of the tongue, then gets riper and richer as it glides down the palate. This wine is very good right now, but I know it's only going to get better over the next five years or more. Please have patience, Fred.

Val de Sil's Godello is clearly aged in stainless steel; that is the traditional way. Be aware, though, that many Godellos on the market have been matured in new oak to appeal to American tastes. It's a taste I prefer to avoid.

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