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The Godello Grape


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About Godello

(Synonyms: Agodello, Agodenho, Agudanho, Agudelha, Agudelho, Agudello, Agudelo, Agudenho, Berdello, Godelho, Godella, Godenho, Gouvelo, Ojo de Gallo, Prieto Picudo Blanco, Trincadente, Verdelho, Verdello do Dão)

Background

Map showing the Galicia province of Spain

Godello is a white-wine grape originating in the northwest of Spain, probably from the province of Galicia (just north of Portugal); it is said to reach its acme in the small Valdeorras appellation within Galicia, and does not seem to be grown much elsewhere (though it may be that some Portugese plantings under another name are also really Godello).

Godello is another modern “rescue project”: by the 1970s, the grape was nearly extinct, but a couple of enthusiastic advocates brought it to world attention with striking renditions, and it is today a major player in Spain and, increasingly, on the world stage. Godello is now one of Spain’s two premier white wines, sitting beside Albariño in that capacity.

Because it is still a developing effort, the wines can be found in quite a variety of styles (not unlike Chardonnay, to which some compare it). One key difference in styles (again as with Chardonnay) is the presence or absence of oak in the vinification: steel-tank Godellos tend to have, as one writer puts it, “a fresher, livelier quality”, with more minerality and forward fruit; oak-aged Godellos tend, in that same critic's words, to be “richer, fuller wines”, often with the “creamy” quality that comes of lees contact. The difference may be more a matter of personal taste than of better/worse, though not a few wine writers have expressed a clear preference for the unoaked versions (though others much prefer the oak). One regional winemaker remarked that he, too, prefers the unoaked style, but also makes an oaked version just for the American market. So.

The essence of Godello (or at least unoaked Godello) seems to be minerality and acidity, but the extra that distinguished it from many other serviceable varieties with those qualities is a richness of fruit and wildflower flavors and a somewhat denser body than the usual all-mineral white wine.

Note that Godello is sometimes confused with Verdelho, which is a different grape, but was (and is) a name sometimes used for Godello, and also the Portugese Gouveio, because Gouveio was often used as a name for true Verdelho (yes, the world is a funny old place).

Factoid: Pliny the Elder, writing in the first century, described a widely grown Spanish grape that may well have been Godello.

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Some Descriptions of Godello Wines

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Some Godellos to Try

(About this list.)

Rafael Palacios “Louro do Bolo” Godello
(Palacios bottles several Godellos: this is their “Louro do Bolo” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Godeval “Cepas Vellas” Godello
(Don’t confuse this “Cepas Vellas” bottling with any of their other Godello bottlings.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Avancia “Cuvee de O” Godello
(They also make a “plain” Godello; don't get confused.))

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Valdesil “Val de Sil” Sobre Lias Godello
(The winery name is sometimes rendered “Val de Sil”; they bottle other Godellos than just the “Sobre Lias”, so beware.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Fraga do Corvo Godello

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Rafael Palacios “As Sortes Val do Bibei” Godello.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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