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Tuesday
Sep132011

Adventures in Wine: Guimaro Ribeira Sacra Godello

Looking for something wonderful to try, but sick of the same ol' varietals you see in every store? Want to impress your wine geek friend with an affordable yet very interesting bottle of white wine? Here's something well-worth seeking out: Guimaro's 2009 Ribeira Sacra Blanco (Godello), brought to America by one of my favorite importers, José Pastor Selections.

Looking down a ladder in Pérez's scary-steep vineyardThe wine region (Denominación de Origen, or simply, DO) Ribeira Sacra is tucked up in the northwest corner of Spain, right above Portugal. People are taking notice of this incredible little nook in the wine world for good reason: it's producing some high quality, interesting wines at affordable prices. The geography in Ribeira Sacra is stunning, and the vineyards gorgeous, green and steep, often fog covered, and the area looks something like the Northern Rhone meets Northern California. In fact, the steepness of the vineyards makes a hands-on approach to winemaking completely necessary for many wineries, such as the one in question, Guimaro, where winemaker and grower Pedro Rodríguez Pérez risks life and limb climbing steep ladders to tend his vines.

Some time ago at a José Pastor tasting, I got to meet Pérez and try his wonderful 2009 Ribeira Sacra Blanco, made from the fairly obscure grape, Godello. I don't speak great Spanish, and he doesn't speak great English, but I pointed at the glass and then to my heart, and got the message across just fine. You can find this excellent wine online from Solano Cellars for $26 (by the half-case) and I found it in person for ~$28 at Arlequin.

front labelback labelIf you are lucky enough to grab a bottle of this, what you'll find is a wild and wonderful nose of jasmine, melon, earthiness and ocean spray, which transforms to quince, lime, pie spice, mineral and a nice bit of saline on the palate. This is absolutely delicious, with a lingering finish and a remarkably light body considering its intense flavors: if this were a Chardonnay of the same intensity, it would be unctuous and oily (not that there's anything wrong with that), but this wine has really pleasant weight that just begs for more sips. So maybe buy two. And invite me over.

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