Saturday, February 17, 2018

Bierzo D.O., Bodegas Godelia, Mencia, and Godello

Who's familiar with Bodegas Godelia? Or for that matter Spain's Bierzo D.O.? Well not me as of last week -- until I received the two wines below. The Bierzo D.O. is situated east of Galicia in Spain's northwest corner. The region shares Galicia's humidity and rainfall as well as the hot, dry climate of Castile - located slightly southeastern. The vineyards are relatively low lying (450-1,000 meters) along hillsides planted on a diverse set of quartz, slate, granite, and limestone soils. Viticulture was first documented during the Roman colonization but expanded during the Middle Ages through the growth of monasteries. After the phylloxera plague basically decimated the vineyards in the late 1800s, modern viticulture resuscitated the region and the Bierzo D.O. was established in 1989.

Bodegas Godelia consists of 86 acres of estate vineyard plus an additional 37 acres under contract. The estate resides outside the village of Cacabelos centrally located to the D.O. and with old vines (20-90 years) planted on hillsides at 500-600 meters.

Two prominent grapes in the Bierzo D.O. are the white Godello and the red Mencia. The former is known for producing complex, mineral-driven wines and the later concentrated, yet juicy acidic wines.

Godelia Godello-Dona Blanco 2015 ($17) is a blend of 80% Godello and 20% Dona Blanca that spent five months on lees. This technique is clearly evident as the wine possesses a creamy backbone that is surrounded by floral and spicy-minerally characters. Solid acids provide a fresh finish.

Godelia Mencia ($19) is comprised of 100% Mencia harvested from 50-90 year old vines. And after fermentation the wine spends 12 months in various oak casks. This is a tasty combination of dirt and fruit with the high tannins settling leaving juicy acidity. Another tremendous value wine.
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