August 9, 2013 11:29 am / by

The Godello grape is currently one of my favourite white varietals.  It is found primarily in Galicia, north-west Spain.  Godello was on the verge of extinction in the 1970s but has survived and thrived largely due do the Godello Revival (REstructuring of the VIneyards of VALdeorras) project.  For further details see the excellent Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jose Vouillamoz (London: Penguin, 2012), pp. 413-415.

Godello has superb minerality and at its most basic is clean, fresh and makes an excellent aperitif.  At its most complex it has incredible structure, depth and can be very long-lived.

One of the outstanding producers of Godello is Rafael Palacios who produces wines at three levels:


  • Bolo is the most basic wine and, as stated above, is great as an aperitif but will also go well with pan-fried or grilled white fish or simply steamed vegetables.  It is unoaked and beautifully clean and crisp.  It comes from vines which are 7-16 years old.  The Wine Society is currently selling the 2012 at £9.95 a bottle.
  • Louro do Bolo is the intermediate wine and needs some ageing.  I have not tried this but, according to Jancis Robinson, the 2011 is still very young and has lots of lime fruit flavour.  This wine is aged for 5 months in oak casks and comes from vines which are 17-28 years old. Wine Direct has the 2011 at £14.50 a bottle.
  • As Sortes is the top level and this is simply stunning. It is not cheap but is well worth saving up for a special occasion.  I have the 2011 which is a superb vintage and will age for many years.  It is very drinkable now with great length and balance but I look forward to trying the bottle in the photograph several years from now!  This wine is aged for 8 months in French oak barrels and comes from vines which are 35-92 years old.  Hedonism Wines currently has the 2011 at £32.10 a bottle.

For a slightly cheaper basic Godello try Gaba do Xil Godello Valdeorras 2012 from the Wine Society at £8.95 a bottle.  This is made by another top Godello producer, Telmo Rodriguez.

If you like dry white wines and want to try something different I thoroughly recommend this varietal.



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