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swirl and savor

Wine of the Moment: Bodegas Val de Sil Montenovo Godello

Beth Ribblett

Not familiar with Godello? Don't worry, it's not on most people's wine radar! It’s an ancient white varietal that has laid its claim in Valdeorras since the Roman occupation. The area juts out north of Portugal and east of Rias Baixas, in the Galicia region of north west Spain. The Romans were attracted to Valdeorras (Golden Valley) for its gold mining, but like other areas they conquered, vineyards followed.

Brought back from near exctinction 30 years ago, Godello (go-day-o) tends to get overshadowed by its cousin Albarino from Rias Baixas. It was only in the 1990s that certain mavericks, intent on preserving this ancient cultivar, were noticed by boutique American importers and the Spanish wine press. The grape has gained more popularity in the American market due to the effort of U.S. importers like Eric Solomon.

A great Godello combines the minerality of a Chablis with the acidic snap of a Sauvignon Blanc—it comes at you quietly, with elegance and persistence. With its delicate aromas of wild flowers and lemon, usually a graceful mid palate, it should have crisp seductive fruits and finish with a good length.

The problem is that Godello tends to be pricey, most I've seen start in the low $20's. So when Morgan Stroud from Purveyor brought me this little gem that retails for $11.99, I was floored by the quality for the price!

Fresh and uncorrupted by oak, the Val de Sil has bright, racy white peach and lemon aromas with nice minerality and a crisp acid finish. Perfect for light seafood, a Spanish sheep's milk cheese or summer quaffing, it is delicious and different.

Want to try it before you buy? Morgon will be in the shop Tuesday, June 30 from 6:30 to 8:00pm opening bottles of this as well as 5 other great wines from Spain, France and Argentina. Come check it out! $10.