2020 Virgen del Galir Valdeorras Pagos del Galir Godello

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2020 Virgen del Galir Valdeorras Pagos del Galir Godello

(Godello “Pagos del Galir”- Virgen del Galir) The 2020 Godello “Pagos del Galir” bottling from Cuné’s Virgen del Galir property is lovely this year. As I have mentioned in the past, this wine hails from the single vineyard of A Malosa, with the wine fermented and raised in stainless steel tanks. The 2020 is fairly ripe, coming in at fourteen percent octane this year, but impressively fresh and vibrant on both the nose and palate,. The bouquet offers up a refined blend of lemon, pear, a bit of raw almond, stony minerality, citrus blossoms and just a whisper of beeswax in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a superb core, lovely soil signature and grip, sound framing acids and a long, well-balanced and quite wide open finish. Like many 2020 whites, this does not have a ton of acidity, but plenty to carry it over the next ten to twelve years. (Drink between 2022-2035)

John Gilman | 92 JG
This has aromas of orange peel, plums, raspberries, wild strawberries, violets and tobacco leaves. Excellent freshness with lightly bitter citrus and herb notes lifting the wild berry fruit, supported by fine tannins. Drink now.

James Suckling | 92 JS
The white 2020 Pagos del Galir A Malosa Godello was produced with grapes from a large vineyard (21 hectares!) planted over four years after purchasing over 100 small plots from local growers. So, it has different soils, expositions and altitudes. In 2020 they used the grapes from the lower and middle parts, the oldest plantings on slate soils fermented in stainless steel, barrels (500 and 600 liters) and oak foudres and then matured in foudres and barrels for seven months. 2020 saw a very early harvest with higher yields than 2019, resulting in a wine with 13.5% alcohol and 6.5 grams of acidity. They have seen that small barrels don't work in the region and have moved to larger sizes, all from French oak. The nose has a Burgundian feeling to it, spicy and with a toasty twist. The oak is still there, so it might need more time to get that creaminess integrated, but it's very clean and of high quality. There is great purity, definition and precision here. The wine is elegant and subtle, with a long, dry and tasty finish. It has good acidity, one of the challenges with Godello. 19,000 bottles and 300 magnums were produced. It was bottled in May 2021.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91+ RP
Light, vivid yellow. Fresh, mineral-tinged citrus and orchard fruits and a powerful floral quality on the perfumed nose. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering lively Meyer lemon, pear and honeysuckle flavors that deepen through the back half. A dusty mineral flourish adds firm cut to the persistent finish, which features clinging citrus fruit and floral notes.

Vinous Media | 91 VM

Wine Details on 2020 Virgen del Galir Valdeorras Pagos del Galir Godello

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Producer Virgen del Galir
Region Spain: Spain is home to some absolutely masterfully crafted wines. Their culture gets romanticized in many works of prose, and it's easy to see where the appeal lies. The wines serve as an extension of that culture and stand among the tallest titans in the world. With powerhouse varietals like Airen, Tempranillo and Grenache brought to their full potential, these bottles hold a unique appeal without sacrificing what makes wine approachable and popular.

Imagine an inspirational guitar performance. The artist's fingers are darting around accurately, and it's hard to keep track of all his hand movements. All you know is that he is making the strings dance vivaciously and produce a veritable symphony of intricately woven notes, each note adding something unique and pleasant to the overall composition. That's what sampling a Spanish wine is like. The wines are fresh, possessing an intense yet elegant fruitiness to them that feels like you're enjoying a healthy bowl of fruit salad on the side. Whatever your preference may be, Spanish wines are an essential, unmissable part of wine culture. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped out on these amazing drinks, which is why we've arranged a selection of only the finest wines Spain has to offer.
Subregion Valdeorros
Country Spain: Grapevines have been cultivated on the Iberian Peninsula for thousands of years, making Spain one of the oldest wine producing countries on earth. With nearly 1 million hectares under vine, Spain is in possession of more grapevines that any other nation in the world. Today, vineyard cultivation takes place in virtually every administrative district, making it a leading producer on today’s market. Spain’s vineyards generate an annual wine output of 40.7 million hectoliters, ranking it third in the world behind only France and Italy.

Spain is a land of breathtaking beauty, diverse topography, complex cultures and a time honored tradition of viticulture. The country’s broad geographical values play a major role in defining the many wine styles produced. From the cool climes of Galicia and the snow-capped Pyrenees to arid Andalucía in the south, and every region in between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Spain boasts one of the most diverse terroirs in the world.

The country’s myriad of soils and complex climate systems creates an expansive planting ground for a multitude of varietals. Tempranillo has long played an instrumental role in Spanish winemaking. It is important to note that of the 236,000 hectares being cultivated world-wide, 202,000 are planted in Spain. It is commonly utilized in the production of still red wines from Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro and has taken the world by storm. In the past few decades, wines produced in Rioja have been some of the most popular, and in 2017, wines with a “Rioja” label were the most purchased on the wine market. Bodegas Vega Sicilia, located in Ribera del Duero in northern Spain has been one of the most sought after producers hailing from Spain, and Tinta de Toro (otherwise known as Tempranillo everywhere else) has certainly placed its mark on the region and the world.

Spain is also renowned for its production of sweet, raisened Moscatel, fortified Madeira, sparkling Cava and its rising, but shining star, Albarino, which hails from the Rias Baixas appellation of Galicia. Some of the most recognizable names in the world of wine hail from Spain.

In the past few decades there has been a collision of New and Old World winemaking; one which has greatly contributed to the continued success of the Spanish wine industry. Modernization of vineyards, facilities and viticulture has greatly improved the significance of Spain in the wine market. Syrah and Merlot have taken root in Spanish wine regions and combined with the indigenous Garnacha (Grenache) Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc), Godello and many others, the country has not only adapted to new styles of winemaking but also the ever changing palate of consumers.

Type of Wine Spain White: Spanish white wines are as outstanding as the red ones. Plenty of grape varieties planted in Spain have Spanish origin, such as Verdejo or Godello, as well as the crispy Albarino with its powerful aromas. Palomino, Airen, and Albillo are also commonly used in different blends, with Albillo being prevalent in Madrid.
Varietal Godello: There is a special allure to wines produced from indigenous grapes in their native terroir. It’s not just a region’s climate, soil composition, proximity to water, and vineyard aspect that ultimately express terroir in a finished wine. It’s also the relationship of all of those elements to the varieties of a particular area themselves, which have adapted and evolved specifically to its conditions.  This magical symbiosis manifests the truest expression of the grape’s existence.  This is especially true for the Godello grape variety, which has inhabited the Galician area of northwestern Spain for centuries.

The history of the Godello grape is somewhat unclear, though it was first referenced in 1531 under the name “Agudelho” in the Douro, Portugal.  Despite this early Portuguese historical inclusion, many historians believe that Godello originated in Galicia and that the variety is as ancient as the region itself.  Just north of Portugal, in the most inland section of Galicia is the appellation of Valdeorras and where the greatest success has been seen.  This development has led to a steady increase in plantings of the varietal; these plantings and all existing vines are vital to the survival of the Godello Grape.  It had an unfortunate brush with extinction in the 20th century, declining to a mere 100 hectares at one point.  Mercifully, the varietal is experiencing a revival, thanks to the heroic efforts of local vintners in Galicia to guard and protect the ancient variety and their heritage.

Today, there are approximately 1,000 hectares of Godello under vine in Galicia, where it thrives in mineral-laden terroir.  The varietal expresses its appreciation of its many attributes by introducing the qualities of the soil through the wine itself.  The Galician terroir is mineral rich, ranging from granite to slate soils.  The climate is very wet with an oceanic influence from the Atlantic, which lends salinity to the wines produced.  General characteristics of the wines produced are fresh, crisp acidity, balance, bright fruit and moderate alcohol levels.  The wine delivers mouth-watering, briny-grapefruit, lemon zest, quince, crushed gravel, salinity (compliments of the Atlantic Ocean) and smoked minerality, with aromas of fresh cut grass and wet stone.  In the best wines, there is a haunting minerality that becomes imprinted on the drinker’s palate. 

Godello is known to be quite versatile and has been used as a blending agent with other Spanish white varietals for centuries.  The first varietal example was produced in the 1980s; this trend has become a popular style today, with more vintners vinifying unique bottlings.  Many producers are now using native yeast, which provides another layer of diversity that separates the wines of one grower from those of another.

In the vineyard, Godello is characterized by its small-sized berries that are green in color and covered in a sheen protective layer of silvery bloom (waxy substance).  The berries grow in closely packed, small bunches.  The grapes are sensitive to fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and bunch rot so great care and attention is imperative for health and vitality during the growing season. 

Just south of Spain, in the country of Portugal, Godello is seeing a passionate revival as well.  The varietal is and has been incredibly important to the culture and national heritage.  Massive plantings have been implemented in the last few decades as a collective attempt by vintners to rescue the varietal from extinction.  There are currently around 1,000 hectares under vine in Portugal, where the varietal is not only successful, but beloved.  Much like Galicia, the Douro appellation is mineral and nutrient rich, with a terroir comprised of slate-like metamorphic rock and schist with useful water retention properties.  Godello plays an important part as a blending partner with other indigenous white grape varieties.

The terroir-driven Godello grape produces wines with an appeal that goes far beyond the palates of dedicated terroiristas.  They are attractive to just about anyone who loves great white wines, especially lovers of Chardonnay.  It is bold claim; however when the wines are aged in oak, they become richly textured and very reminiscent of Chardonnay.  MW (Master of Wine) Jancis Robinson has stated, “Godello combines the structure of white Burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape.”  Spain and Portugal have helped to save this tremendous variety which unfortunately, is still under-the-radar by the larger consumer base, but is threatening to be exposed on a grander, world-wide level.

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