Grape 40: Godello

I like friends
Sometimes it’s good to have friends. Sure, there are all kinds of benefits that come with friends. You enjoy life more, you live longer, and you get to try more dishes at large-group gatherings. On top of all that, sometimes your friends introduce you new wine grapes. Definitely not at the top of the list, but a cherished benefit nonetheless.

No More CFA – woot
Godello is the grape that came out of Saturday’s gathering of friends. Mr. Reebok had just finished the third (and last!) of the grueling CFA exams and was being reawakened to the joys of everyday life. Out of the fridge of Miguel Seleño came the Godello, along with an acclamation that it’s what Albariño was a few years ago. I took that to mean: a) acidic, b) unknown outside the die-hard wino world and c) white wine. True on all accounts but also: d) from Spain, e) from NW Spain (Galicia) and f) from one of the five named wine growing regions in Galicia.

Spain do 69
The Spanish system of identifying grape growing regions involves the D.O. (denominación de origen), and Galicia has 5 of the 69 Spanish D.O. wine regions (click through for a great PDF map of all 69). Albariño generally comes from Rías Baixas (the western-most D.O. in all of Spain) and Godello generally comes from Monterrei (right on the border with Portugal) or Valdeorras (where Godello is the only authorized white grape).

Godello is a wine that people have a hard time describing. Some describe it with mysterious-sounding incantations “fascinating complexity” or “rich in aromatic potential.” Others pick and pluck from other regions in an attempt to pull together what its essence is – “minerality of a great Chablis with the acidic snap of a Sauvignon Blanc.” One guy (but what a guy!) just called it “the greatest white-wine grape in all of Spain.”

My impression based on exactly one bottle of Godello is that it’s really similar to Vinho Verde but somewhat sweeter. Lots of acidity, lots of citrus (lime mostly, but some grapefruit and lemon too) and some green apples. Godello screams summer, seafood and beach sand.

Detail Up!
Godello Terra do Lobo 2009 from Monterrei D.O. in Galicia, Spain

Google Randoms:
* Monterrey, Mexico’s Second City (sorry chicago), takes its name from Monterrei, the D.O. wine region where Godello is grown
* Galicia’s five D.O. regions are: 1) Rias Baixas (albarino), 2) Ribeiro, 3) Ribeira Sacra, 4) Monterrei (godello), and 5) Valdeorras (godello).
* Terra do Lobo = Land of the Wolf. Probably the reason they have a picture of a moon on the label too – perfect wine to bring to your Twilight party. Go Team Jacob.

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  1. bakery attacker’s avatar

    Kudos for bringing in Twilight into the discussion. I am now imagining wine shops getting mobbed by women wearing bright yellow “Team Jacob” T-shirts and suddenly running out of several month’s stockpile of their Godello wines.


    1. Craigk8’s avatar

      Seems like a smart strategy by wine shops to follow the crazes. I hear that Cupcake wine is selling out really quickly because really, who doesn’t love a cupcake?


      1. bakery attacker’s avatar

        No one. I only attack bakeries that make cupcakes.



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