We have an old-ish copy of Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine in the office (the 3rd Edition from 1985) which makes no mention of most of the wine regions which make up our current Spanish selection. Galicia is mentioned as an afterthought, at the bottom of the final paragraph in the page covering Spain. There is a solitary reference to a grape variety called Albariño which might be worth watching in the future.
It turns out that Johnson was right, Albariño was worth watching, and has now been watched so much that it is becoming increasingly challenging to track down decent examples to offer for much under £12-£14 a bottle which is the point at which you could be forgiven for turning your attention to the likes of (for instance) white Burgundy. Flying along not far behind Albariño (but far enough to avoid Johnson’s radar back in 1985) was another Galician grape variety, equally worth of note, called Godello. Even today it’s still not fully on the radar of many white wine lovers which makes it somewhat better value than most Albariños which are now considered trendy.
Like Albariño, Godello makes whites that are high in fruit with characteristic peach and citrus notes. It tends to be unoaked and provides a perfect accompaniment to gentle fish and seafood (natural Galician menu choices) but can also be enjoyed on its own for those who like their whites with plenty of fruit and a refreshing nip of cleansing acidity (think Pinot Blanc from Alsace, or dry Muscat, or perhaps a spritely Viognier and you’ll be along the right lines).
One such example is the superb 2013 Via Nova Godello from Bodegas Virxe de Galir in Valdeorras. Valdeorras means “Valley of Gold”, so named because the Romans mined the local slate for precious metals. These days that same slate produces a gentle minerally note in the wines adding a further dimension.
If you bought one of our Gold Christmas Cases at the back end of 2014 you may well have already tasted this super wine, but we have a couple of cases left and would like to shuffle them through ahead of next month’s Wines From Spain tasting where we will be on the look out for yet more fabulous wines whose origins never got a mention back in 1985. We’ve even provided an incentive for you to buy a couple of bottles as you can see by visiting the Last ChanceTo Buy section of our website where there are still a few final bottles of some more old favourites to be snapped up before it’s too late. As ever a 5% discount kicks in at 12 bottles (which may be mixed).