The world of wine is inherently quite romantic, dare we say even sexy. Yes, it’s an agricultural product made from grapes, but that doesn’t detract from the glamour and sensuousness of it all. When it comes to grapes and sex appeal, though, there’s a bit of an imbalance – some grapes are certainly sexier than others, basically. Albariño rolls off the tongue, Chardonnay charms effortlessly and Sauvignon Blanc sizzles. Beautiful. What about Godello, then?
What the hell-o is Godello?
Godello isn’t a household name, for sure – but it should be! Godello is a white grape native to Spain, that until recently had fallen out of favour and was not widely planted at all. In recent times, Spanish winemakers have made a concerted effort to revive the grape, and Godello wines today are truly something special: Great Godello offers the structure and lasting power of white Burgundy, the texture and floral notes of Chenin Blanc and a refreshing minerality. Together, this is an enticing package for any white wine lover that is looking for something a little different.
Where is Godello made?
Godello is most common in the northwest of Spain, with the best examples coming from denominations such as Valdeorras, Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Monterrei. Valdeorras Godello is probably the top expression of the grape. With that being said, Godello is not a particularly sexy or marketable grape, so is usually is cultivated as a labour of love by the winemaker more so than for overtly commercial reasons, as it lacks the instant appeal of a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or other superstar variety. On the upside, the wines are generally made with love and care, and the quality tends to be quite high everywhere.
Three Godello wines to try
Heard enough? Godello may not have worldwide acclaim right now, but it’s well worth a taste. We have picked three of our favourite Godello wines for you to experience this wonderful grape for yourself.
- Guitián Godello Fermentado Barrica is a showstopper from the Valdeorras region. As its name may suggest, this one has been fermented in oak barrels, and was aged for six months in oak and a further six months in the bottle. The result is a mature wine of real character, structurally not so different from a fine white Burgundy. It’s got a bright straw colour with brilliant gold highlights, a very full-on and fruity nose with intense citrus aromas, and drinks beautifully with excellent length and an underlying creaminess. Full-bodied as far as whites go, this is really something special and will stand up to creamier, weightier foods such as pasta carbonara and fish stew.
- Gargalo Godello comes from the Monterrei region, where granite and slate soils contribute to a beautiful minerality in the wines. With an eye-catchingly vibrant yellow colour and a highly complex nose of varying fruits and floral notes, this culminates in a smooth and velvety palate with good length and a persistent, pleasant aftertaste of tropical and other fruits.
- Pago de Valdoneje Godello is produced by Vinos Valtuille, a leading producer in the Bierzo region. Bierzo may be better known for its Mencia-based red wines, but this white Godello demonstrates that the region has decidedly more to offer: Bright colour, intense nose with lots of fruits and flowers, and decent length on the palate make this a very enticing prospect for a white wine lover looking to try something new.
What do you think about the Godello grape? If you have other favourite Godello wines, share them here with your fellow wine lovers. Even better, tell us about some other lesser known grape varieties that you are enjoying at the moment!