The Godello grape loves to make a place at the table with anything that emerges from the water, fresh or marine, but it has an almost astonishing affinity for leggy shellfish: shrimp, langoustines, lobster, and especially crab. So when I got one (the wine), I knew had had to get the other (the crab, that is – it’s a rare treat, and I guess we were due…)
And indeed, this wine hails from the seafood paradise that is the Galicia region of northwestern-most Spain (a place that’s blessed with great trout in their mountain streams too.) specifically the Valdeorras region near the lovely medieval city of Ourense. Though it’s little known, Galicia is the southern-most, largely un-alloyed Celtic culture in Europe, but unlike most Celtic people, the Gallegos (as they’re called in Spain) are people of the sea, and consequently great fishermen, and they speak a language that represents a sort of linguistic mid-point between Spanish and Portuguese. Oenologically, Galicia has recently become noted for the pretty, sunny Albarino grape, and justly so, but there are more than a few viticultural wrinkles in this green, boisterously-hilled region, and Godello is one of them.
So as I said, this wine is all about crab, so I made the deliciously obvious choice of crab cakes with Galician twist (garlic, lots of parsley, and a bit of cilantro) alongside a crisp green salad. The first course was a classic Iberian starter: a tortilla (like a frittata or an omelet) with green pepper, onion, and potato. And of course some fluffy Iberian bread to go along with it all.
Bodegas Abanico Valdeorras Godello “Tempestad” 2009
Medium greenish golden color. Complex nose of lemon bars, honeydew melon, white roses, subtle, light caramel, and fresh herbs. The entry on the palate is taut and a bit “nervous”. The mid-palate opens out into a round and fairly dense texture with a strong, salty minerality, and fresh flavors of mixed citrus juice and zest, white pepper, powdered ginger, and yellow cherries. Finishes with a wonderful bitter/tart finish.