Some of the most intricate white wines being made these days are being drawn from the Northwest of Spain. There you have a wonderful display of minerality that perfectly balances out rich and creamy hedonism. I’m not talking about Albarino, though that is the grape that gets exported and talked about the most. But, if you ask any Spaniard what they’re drinking it’s likely not Albarino — because they have something even better.
The ‘grand cru’ white wine that has been experiencing a Renaissance since the 1980’s are the wines made from the Godello grape. Originating from just outside of Valencia in the town of Godella, Godello is known for its ageability and was widely planted in Northern Spain and Portugal throughout the early 20th century before nearly going extinct in the 1970’s. Why it didn’t is up for debate, though most of the credit belongs to Bodegas Avancia, the winery who Robert Parker, Jr. declared as making the finest Godello in all of Spain.
Snuggled high in the mountainside of Valdeorras, (widely considered the best sub-region for Godello) Bodegas Avancia looks down on the Sil River below. A town once known for gold mining, ironic considering what lies beneath Bodegas Avancia is a gold pile of sorts– pure slate soils intermixed with broken quartz, the jackpot combo for elite Godello. But even better, Avancia is one of less than a handful of producers of single-vineyard Godello in the entire country, with the luxury of working off an extraordinary vineyard with old vines first planted in 1904!
If you are going to try something completely new this season this should be it. Admittingly, precious little Godello ever makes it stateside, but the Avancia is undoubtedly the best I’ve ever had. But you don’t have to take my word for it – though you should.
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92 Points, Wine Spectator
Sleek and well-knit, with a streak of salinity underscoring a creamy mesh of pink grapefruit, cherry blossom, Marcona almond, and blood orange peel flavors that linger on the mouthwatering finish. Drink now thru 2025.
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