Top 10 Spanish regions to watch18th December, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Bordering Bierzo to the west is Valdeorras – the gateway to Galicia in the east of the region. Like Mencía in Bierzo, white grape Godello is sending ripples of excitement through the UK. Hailed as the “new Albariño” and boasting a similar stone fruit and citrus character, Godello offers notes of apple, peach, apricot and honey, but is creamier and more luscious than its northwesterly cousin in Rías Baixas.
Champion of obscure Spanish grapes, Telmo Rodiguez, is enjoying commercial success in the UK with his Gaba do Xil Godello, represented by Adnams and The Wine Society. The unoaked wine, named after the Sil River that runs through the region, is made from Godello grown on slate and granite soils, and is described by the Wine Society as being “brisk, tense and thirst quenching.”
Not to be outdone by his brother, the aforementioned Alvaro, Rafael Palacios is going great guns with Bodegas Rafael Palacios, where he makes a pair of premium Godellos: the barrel-fermented As Sortes and Louro de Bolo, the former of which has proved so popular, it is now sold on allocation for £35 a bottle through Berry Bros & Rudd.
Described by Berry’s Spanish wine buyer, Simon Field MW, as “the sine qua non of Godello”, Jancis Robinson MW believes the wine “can hold its own against white Burgundies selling at the same price, bearing the structure and precision of a fine Puligny-Montrachet.” Palacios has since gone one better with a single vineyard Godello called Sorte o Soro.