Joaquín Rebolledo, Godello, Valdeorras
Joaquín Rebolledo, Godello, Valdeorras

Joaquín Rebolledo, Godello, Valdeorras

Galicia, Spain 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$27.00
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Joaquín Rebolledo, Godello, Valdeorras

Until the late 1970s, the Valdeorras region was planted primarily to Palomino (the high-yielding, somewhat neutral white used in Sherry production), but that changed in 1978 when Joaquín Rebolledo made the risky decision to replant all 35 hectares of his family’s vineyards with the native grapes Godello and Mencía. His fellow winegrowers told him he was completely tolo (“crazy”), but, as this wine confirms, he proved them wrong. As we noted at the outset, the resurgence of Galician wine regions such as Valdeorras—a cavernous river valley with vineyards so steep you often need funiculars to harvest them—has been one of the greatest stories in wine. 

The dominant soil type in Valdeorras is slate, in vineyards which, as in other parts of Galicia, cling to steep slopes along the Sil River. The appellation is at the eastern edge of the Ourense province, and while it does feel some Atlantic influence (funneled up through the river valley), it is less pronounced than in more coastal regions like Rías Baixas. Rebolledo’s vineyards have an abundance of slate, but there are also plots that feature sandy loams and dense clay. 

The Rebolledo family is considered one of the pioneers of the revival of the Godello grape, which, along with Albariño, is considered one of Galicia’s noble native whites. Their vineyards, which now spread across 35 hectares in the Valdeorras DO, boast an average vine age of about 30 years on average, with altitudes reaching to heights of 700 meters.

Harvested during the first half of September 2021, the grapes for this wine were fermented spontaneously in stainless steel for 20 days. Following fermentation, the wine rested on its lees (spent yeasts) for several months, during which time it was subjected to regular bâtonnage (lees-stirring) to lend creaminess to the texture.

In the glass, it displays a pale straw-gold core with green reflections on the rim. Aromas are assertive and complex, with notes of yellow apple, green melon, lime leaf, green watermelon rind, green papaya, lemon oil, white wildflowers, wet herbs, a touch of stirred lees and crushed stones. Some might find it Chablis-esque. Pair it with grilled octopus or other Galician-inspired seafood preparations.

Joaquín Rebolledo, Godello, Valdeorras

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