Popped into Lidl supermarket recently and picked up this unusual blend from the Ribiero (Galicia) region which is situated in north west Spain.
The bottle caught my eye as it featured one of my favourite white grapes Godello although with this one it’s a small part of a blend with Treixadura which is the predominant grape around 80% (used mainly in the making of Portuguese Vinho Verde) also featuring is another lesser known grape Loureira.
This is a very tall elongated bottle which might be a problem if storing in the fridge upright, when poured it’s a very pale straw like colour with fairly muted aromas even after hovering with my nose stuck in the glass for a while it was hard to pick out anything apart from citrus fruits, mainly lemons, there was also a faint whiff of herbs and flowers.
The taste is where this wine shines, it’s very dry with a bright tangy lemon flavour, followed by what tasted like dried mixed herbs. Very fleshy weighty texture and a long satisfying finish.
As part of the new Lidl range this retails at £8.99 and on first tasting, in my opinion, worth every penny, I absolutely loved it, thoroughly recommend it and even though I haven’t got a Lidl local to me I will be making a trip to the nearest store to buy some more.
Unfortunately Lidl seem to change their wines pretty rapidly so I don’t know how long they will have this on the shelf but if you want to try something different I urge you to go out quickly and get some, hopefully you won’t be disappointed, top stuff !!
I was asked recently to attend the ‘Wines from Spain’ Trade fair as a representative of Mid Week Wines a review site run by Brian Elliott, wine taster, judge and writer based in Scotland.
As anybody who has read my site knows I love Spanish wines, in fact I love most things Spanish, so when asked to do this tasting I jumped at the chance.
The event was held in Tobacco Dock, Wapping , London. This venue as the name implies was built-in the early 19th Century as a secure bonded warehouse for the receipt and storage of Tobacco from the new world. It was relaunched in 2012 as an events venue.
After arriving I made my way to a self pour tasting room called the ‘New Spanish Benchmarks’ with a selection of varieties and styles that make up the next generation of Spanish wines and the new ‘face’ of Spain.
When I entered there was only a handful of tasters in the room with around 45 wines from the ‘Spanish Benchmarks ‘ and another 60 or so from ‘Indie & On-trade star buys’. Feeling a little self conscious as there was amongst others Steven Spurrier ( British wine expert & one of the most influential wine commentators in the world) and Sarah Jane Evans MW & Journalist busy tasting away, I did feel a little surreal tasting next to these experts. Adding to my anxiety you could hear a pin drop and I was praying I didn’t drop a glass or even worse knock over a bottle. Anyway as soon as I tasted the first wine my inhibitions drifted away and I was lost in an array of fabulous wines in which I will highlight a few later.
Next up was food and we were treated to a lunch menu especially created by Michelin Star chef Nacho Manzano in the ‘Iberica’s Kitchen’ room. There was a dish called Fabada which was a rich Bean stew with Chorizo, Morcilla (spanish black pudding) & ham also accompanied by some Pata Negra Spanish Ham, spicy Chorizo slices and cheese.
There was also a free bar which had a lovely selection of wines in which I chose a Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2007 to accompany the delicious food.
Suitably refreshed and fed I made my way to the the main Tasting hall in which one of my briefs was to taste Cava’s made with Champagne grapes either on their own or mixed in with the traditional Macabeo, Parellada & Xarel-lo. Again the selection was fantastic and I will pick out a few of note further down.
To say I was like a kid in a sweet shop was an understatement and spent the rest of the afternoon sampling what I could meeting some really amiable and interesting winemakers along the way.
Below I have set out a few of my favourite wines, this is only a brief selection as there were too many to list….
Spanish Benchmarks (The new face of Spain)
Inspiracion Valdemar Alto Cantabria Tempranillo Blanco 2015
Taste- Full bodied, this had a real nice creaminess about it, balanced acidity and fresh bright tropical fruits again with a long finish.
** As a side note, I visited the Campo Viejo stand and they were promoting their new Tempranillo Blanco to go on sale in Tesco and another Supermarket (can’t remember which one) I thought it was very good especially at around £8-£9
**By far the best Cava I tasted all day but at a price, stood out head and shoulders above all.
Darkish in colour, restrained soft fizz, elegant, full of rich tropical peaches and apricots, some crisp green apples,medium acidity, toasty with a nutty edge, buttery and a finish that lasted a week. Quality 👍👍👍
I was surprised the other day, maybe even shocked when my daughter Laura who is generally a Sauvignon Blanc drinker asked me if I had any Godello.
Now, Godello is a white wine I love, it’s probably one of my favourites but most people I mention it too have never heard of it hence my surprise when Laura asked if I had any, luckily I just happened to have a bottle which I stuck in the fridge for the next days planned barbecue.
For those who don’t know Godello (pronounced Go-dah-yo) it’s a Spanish grape varietal from the north-west Valdeorras region of Galicia and is slowly finding its way to this UK and onto a lot more supermarket shelves. This particular bottle is from the Wine Society The Gaba do Xil 2013 (Gaba Gaba Do, i hear you cry, sorry !).
Styles of Godello vary from unoaked minerally, zippy, tropical and citrus flavours to oaked which tend to be much more intense and vanillary but still retaining that tropical fruit flavour. The unoaked tend to be more readily available although I’m partial to the oakier ones.
So what’s it like, it’s certainly different, lots of things going on when you get your nose in the glass, initially it smells very floral with pears, melon, bananas, limes and maybe a hint of over ripe peaches in fact all the aromas of fruit seem to be overripe.
Taste wise It’s richly textured with a nice creamy, if not particularly long finish. Pears dominate but there are some tropical flavours of peaches and apricots. Although slightly creamy it does have a crispness about it and a stoney mineralty although with mild acidity.
I really enjoyed this, as did the family and if you haven’t tried Godello yet you should you may be pleasantly surprised.
I first discovered Godello when travelling in northern Spain a few years ago when we stopped at a bar in a sleepy town in the Bierzo region.
Sitting outside eating Octopus (Pulpo) with a plate of grilled peppers, olives and freshly baked bread. I asked what wines they recommend I was told to try a local white wine called Godello, having never heard of it I decided to take a chance and thank goodness I did as it is now probably my favourite wine white. The food was delicious and on an extremely hot day the chilled wine was the perfect pairing.
Since then I have sought out many Godello’s and found out that they do vary in style, the one I had at that bar was very Chardonnay like, intense , fleshy with peaches, pears and quiet oaky but I have had bottles that are non oaked, fresh, crisp, acidic, showing apples and slightly salty.
The grapes shown here were apparantly nearly extinct back in the 70’s but they were brought back to life and rescued and now stand up there with the other popular fine whites of Spain.
This particular bottle I bought in Murcia in a small wine shop opposite the local food market. It was an Aladdin’s cave of wine with racks upon racks of bottles some covered in dust but I was searching for Godello and eventually came across a few bottles and took a chance with this Godelia which is predominately Godello 80% with 20% of a grape called Donna Blanca (used in making white Port).
Right what was this 2012 Godelia bottle like, well, this was very much like a Chardonnnay in style with a Pale golden colour with tropical aromas including ripe peaches and with litttle flowery, perfumy notes.
The texture of this wine was rich and fleshy with a creamy like feel. very fruity with an intensness to go with it. Peaches were there but also crisp apples and pears in the background but what really comes through is a flowery taste making this an unusual but extremely enjoyable glass of wine.
As I said earlier Godello varies in style but if you haven’t tasted it or even heard of it, seek it out, whether it’s the Chardonnay almost Burgundian style or the non oaked fresher crispier style, hopefully you won’t be dissapointed I know I’ve not been, not yet anyway.
My Rating 8.5/10 Corks
Bought in Spain, around £8 but there are lots of Godellos over here now
Up until a few years ago I hadn’t even heard of Godello never mind taste it, now it’s one of my favourites whites, a richly flavoured, aromatic, intense wine from North west Spain.
Although it is now becoming widely available it still isn’t instantly recognisable by a lot of wine drinkers and when mentioning it to friends I get a confused “never heard of it, where’s it from ?”. Well, it’s from the Galicia in Northern Spain, this particular bottle from the Monterrei region famous for aromatic whites. The ‘Pazo Das Donas’ Godello is a fairly new addition to the Tesco Finest range and I must say what a pretty good addition it is.
One bit of advice, don’t over chill this wine, I found the flavour and aroma fairly muted when too cold but once warmed up slightly it turns into a different beast, I say beast because this wine has attitude.
Pale straw like colour, smelling tropical with ripe peaches (on the second day, the ripeness of the fruit aromas intensified, a little baked apples and strangely ripe mature cheese, bit like Gorgonzola)
Quite dry and fresh tasting, ripe peaches, lemons, spiced apples with an extremely long and zippy finish. On the second day the flavours seem to intensify and I enjoyed it more again when not over chilled.
Summing up this is an enjoyable, different , intense and slightly Burgundian flavoured white wine.
Not quite Shakespeare but this is a ‘tale of two wines’ one from Galicia in north west Spain and the other from the Jumilla region on the southeast coast just north of Murcia.
Firstly the Godello, I’m a big fan of this grape, almost extinct at one time now seems to be getting a reputation as being Spain’s ‘great white hope’ and in publisher and renowed wine expert Jancis Robinsons words “combines the structure of white burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape”. It also happens to be my current favourite Spanish white wine.
The Co Op have released their ‘Truly Irresistible’ range which includes this Godello Ondas del Alma 2012 which I bought on offer for £6.49.
Very, very pale looking in the glass with aromas of pear, peaches and cream.
Taste – Quite a creamy velvety taste, although still with a sharp, fresh acidic finish. Pears dominate with a hint of apples and peach. Great with food, cleansed the palate beautifully. Easy to drink, had this with some pork and mediterranean vegtables but it would probably suit fish dishes better. What I must point out is don’t chill this too much, initially I drank this far too cold, tasted much better when it warmed up a bit.
Next a wine I bought while browsing the duty free shop in Murcia airport. I’m not a great fan of airport duty free wine as there doesn’t seem to be as much of a saving, with a lot of the wines on show much cheaper if bought locally. Saying that this particular Vinahonda Crianza 2010 caught my eye and I decided to buy it at around 9 Euros. This is a blend of Monastrell , Cabrenet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.
Look & Nose – Bright ruby colour, intense complex aromas of fleshy rich cherries, spices, vanilla and chocolate. Taste – refined tannins, long finish, a little on the sweet side, Vanilla, smokey and a mild kick of spice.
Summing up, two pretty good wines, the Godello a little more easy to find here than the Vinahonda but if you are in the Murcia region of Spain the Monastrell is definitely worth checking out.