2022 Fragas do Lecer, DO Monterrei Godello Sobre Lías "Fraga do Corvo"
2022 Fragas do Lecer, DO Monterrei Godello Sobre Lías "Fraga do Corvo"

2022 Fragas do Lecer, DO Monterrei Godello Sobre Lías "Fraga do Corvo"

Galicia, Spain 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$29.00

2022 Fragas do Lecer, DO Monterrei Godello Sobre Lías "Fraga do Corvo"

 Our love affair with the white wines of Galicia continues unabated, and it isn’t limited to the Albariño-based wines of the Rías Baixas. Here’s a beautifully balanced, deeply mineral expression of the lesser-known Godello grape, wrought from the sandy, granite based soils of the remote (and practically unheard-of) Monterrei appellation. Monterrei is a small cluster of vineyards right on Spain’s border with Portugal, well south and east of the better-known string of Galician wine zones along the Miño and Sil Rivers. This wine is a bit of a Galician outlier in that it hails from more of a continental (rather than coastal) climate, and between its lees aging (“sobre lías”) and its taut but ample structure, one can’t help comparing it—very favorably—to white Burgundy.

Monterrei is well inland from the Atlantic relative to Rías Baixas and some of Galicia’s other white wine hotspots, but, like those regions, its best vineyards occupy steep granitic slopes in a narrow river valley (in this case the Támega River, which eventually meets up with the Douro River further south in Portugal). The region is surrounded by mountains to the north, east, and west, creating a “rain shadow” effect protecting it from wet weather coming from the west. 

Fragas do Lecer, one of only 25 wine estates in the entire Monterrei DO, was founded in 2005 by the Boo-Rivero family. Winemaker Esteban Boo-Rivero draws from roughly 25 hectares of organically farmed vineyards around the town of Vilaza, in the Támega River Valley. Among their vineyard holdings are vineyards containing 50+-year-old plantings of Godello and Mencía, the two principal varieties of the region.

The “Fraga do Corvo,” or “Murder of Crows” Blanco is made entirely of  Godello grapes, but Esteban actually has two quite different clones in his parcels. One is referred to locally as Verdello, not to be confused with Verdelho or Verdejo, and has much smaller, tighter bunches. This adds a taught, more mineral structure to the fleshier clone that is more common. All the grapes are subjected to a brief cold maceration (one hour) before pressing and the start of fermentation, which is carried out in stainless steel tanks. The finished wine is aged in those same steel tanks, with the juice left in contact with the fine lees (spent yeasts) for about seven months. There is a palpable creaminess imparted by this lees-stirring regimen. 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. It is medium-plus in body, with a combination of minerality and viscosity that brings white Burgundy to mind. Atlantic seafood is the most obvious pairing (razor clams please!) but this wine also stands up to a variety of poultry dishes, I’m thinking of cajun style blackened chicken, that would do very well indeed!

2022 Fragas do Lecer, DO Monterrei Godello Sobre Lías "Fraga do Corvo"

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