Thursday, May 8, 2014

Valdeorras: Spain's Great White Hope in The Valley of Gold


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Glass of Godello at sunset at Adegas D. Berna, Valdeorras.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com
(None of the photos here were a part of The New York Times article.)


Excerpt: ". . .Some people have already made up their minds about godello.  Gerry Dawes, who has been writing about Spanish wines for decades and who recently went into the importing business, has called godello “Spain’s emerging hope as an equivalent to the great white Burgundies.”



Godello grapes, Valdeorras.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com.


The consulting enologist for both D. Berna and O Barreiro is José Luís Murcía, who has more than 20 years experience making Godello in Valdeorras and consults to eight other wineries, including the stellar Casal Novo, and somehow manages to capture the essence of their grapes and vineyard sites and transmits that in the bottle like few others. 


Gerry Dawes at Chef Paco Roncero's Estado Puro in Madrid with a glass of Godello. 
Photo by Harold Heckle©2009, Associated Press, Madrid.

Adegas D.Berna, Córgomo, Villamartín de Valdeorras (Ourense)
D. Berna Godello 2010 Valdeorras 13.0% 12/750ML $24.99 

"Adegas D. Berna Godello 2010 ($25). If I were a producer of white burgundy, a wine like this, from Valdeorras in Galicia, would make me nervous. It's big, authoritative, lush, and full of fruit (peaches come to mind), but beautifully structured, with plenty of acidity and a trace of flint — just delicious."  - - Colman Andrews, The Daily Meal.  Read more: Spanish Wines — A Seductive New Crop: Godello, mencia, and other less-than-famous Iberian grapes shine in a new selection from Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes
 
“The 2010 godello, a white from the small-production Bodegas D. Berna, in Valdeorras, was splendid.  Pointillistic, lithe, long, delivering visceral and cerebral pleasures, it was reminiscent of white peaches.  The property, Dawes wrote, is advised by “a great local, enologist, José Luís Murcía, who may know more about godello than anyone in Galicia.”  Murcía, he went on, “advises nine wineries” but “does not mark the wines with a one-fits-all winemaking stamp.” - - Howard G. Goldberg, who writes for The New York Times, Decanter and other publications.


Berna Guitián and Elena Blanco, Adegas D. Berna, Valdeorras.
Photo: Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

This is the first vintage of this wine by the young couple, Berna Guitián and Elena Blanco, to reach the U.S. market.  The consulting enologist is the great José Luís Murcia, who probably knows more about Godello than anyone in Valdeorras.  

Brilliant white gold.  Intriguing nose of white peach and racy minerals. A gorgeous mouthful of silky sweet white peach fruit with a long mineral finish laced with attractive hints of peach pit and almond.  No oak.  Excellent value.


Consulting enologist at Casal Novo, D. Berna, O Barreiro and a number of other wineries in Valdeorras 
is José Luís Murcía, who, somehow manages to capture the essence of their grapes and vineyard site 
and transmit that in the bottle like few others. Photo: Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

Adegas D.Berna Mencía Tinto 2011 13.0% 12/750ML $19.99

A lovely easy-drinking Mencía with smooth pomegranate fruit-laced with minerals.  

Reminiscent in style of a village Burgundy, but somewhat more akin in taste to a good Loire valley Bourgueil. 

Adegas O Barreiro, Seadur (Ourense)

Electric power line builder 'Pepe' Rodríguez retired from his own company and now, with hired help from the 140-person village of Seadur, farms his vineyards in this isolated village of Seadur, which looks down on some spectacular views from its perch some 1700 feet above sea level and 700 feet above the Valdeorras wine town of A Rúa and the Sil River valley. Seadur is reachable only by a pair of serious cork-screw secondary roads.
  

Gerry Dawes with Pepe Rodríguez, owner of O Barreiro, Seadur, Valdeorras, Galicia.

Photo: Basilio Izquierdo©2012 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

Pepe Rodríguez  farms .5 Hectares  (1.25 acres) of 30 year old Godello vines and  .25 hectares  (.6 acres) of 15-year old Mencía.   Depending upon the year, Pepe produces  500-700 6bt. cases of Godello and  just 330-500 6 bt. cases of Mencía.


Pepe Rodríguez, owner of O Barreiro, Seadur, Valdeorras, Galicia, in his vineyards. 
Photo: Gerry Dawes©2012 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

O Barreiro 'A Silveira' Godello 2010 12.5% 6/750ML  $19.99

Pretty, brilliant green-gold.  Whiffs of white peach.   Fine, racy, acidity with restrained white peach, stone fruit and bitter almond flavors.  Its tartness is balanced by lovely fruit and moderate alcohol, which makes it an exceptional food wine.  In the third glass, it's raciness is somewhat reminiscent of great Savennières and the quality, flavor and finish is as good as many white Burgundies.

"O Barreiro "A Silveira" Godello 2010 ($20). Another splendid godello from Valdeorras, a little lighter than the D.Berna, but also a touch more elegant, again with an abundance of fruit but enough acidity to balance out the opulence."  - - Colman Andrews, The Daily Meal.  Read more: Spanish Wines — A Seductive New Crop: Godello, mencia, and other less-than-famous Iberian grapes shine in a new selection from Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes

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