Sunday, July 28, 2019

Valuables from Valdeorras

Would I be interested in receiving samples from Spain?

This is how an email exchange started a couple of months back.  Such an inquiry is very common, though you can substitute almost any region, producer, or variety for Spain and you've got the formula.  But Spain, oh, Spain...we were once compatriotas, but then, then Spain became simultaneously infatuated with Parker's penchant for massiveness and, perhaps not coincidentally, American oak. It's been a turbulent relationship since.

Whereas my normal response to the above inquiry would be, "Sure!", I groaned inwardly and reluctantly accepted.  Alas, keeping an open mind is essential to making discoveries - and here is an example of why that approach yields results.

The Valdeorras subregion of Galicia is way out there.  Geographically, it's north of northeastern Portugal, and west of northwestern Spain. In many respects, it’s the middle of nowhere - maybe so remote that it remained outside Parker's sphere of influence.  But in terms of winemaking credibility, this could be Main St. The two samples that arrived were 100% varietal bottlings, one godello and the other mencia.  Neither of these wines present with swagger, nor do they have any need for it, because when you’re this attractive naturally, there aren't any insecurities to require heavy-handedness.

I'll readily admit to falling hard for the godello, and recommend you surrender yourself to do the same.  It's a white that offers as much or more sophistication as any red, yet won't clobber you, either.


2017 Pagos de Galir Godello Valdeorras $17
Platinum blonde. Clean nose offering gentle white flower blossoms giving way to a poised, elegant main attraction. The fruit, while somewhat reserved, reveals itself through a brilliant texture and in ever-intriguing chapters. Sophisticated and lovely, yet without anything to prove. A haunting wine thanks to its quiet beauty and soft-spoken confidence.  More. Soon. Please.

2016 Pagos de Galir Mencia Valdeorras $17
Rustic, but clean and honest. And like it’s sister (above), the suppleness if its mouthfeel strips away any obstacles to accessing this wine’s authenticity. Lovely balance of dusty fruit and cellar spice, followed by a food-loving acidity that nearly crackles. Very good without being showy.

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