Winery: Bodegas Avanthia
Winemaker: Alistair Gardner (New Zealand)
Region: D.O. Valdeorras (zone 1)
Grape: 100 % Godello
See other wine made by this Bodegas: Avanthia Mencía 2009
Just third vintage of this new project between the Bodegas Godeval and Jorge Ordoñez. I was lucky to taste all 3 vintages released so far, and this wine is truly exceptional and unique.
Avanthia Godello, made from native grape (that I believe only grows in the hills of Galicia, but I am not sure), is not comparable to anything I have ever tasted before. From the packaging (heavy bottom bottle with an elegant and very catchy label), it makes a statement on its own.
When I first tasted the 2009 vintage during my Spanish wine presentation this February, we tasted Avanthia after few other Spanish whites (all dry) – and surprisingly, it tasted almost sweet. But it’s far from it! The richness of the wine, the array of fruit pleasantly tricks the palate. When tasted on its own, it’s super fruity but completely dry wine. So tomorrow, on 2nd of our Spanish wine classes, I chose to taste this wine the first, just to see the difference.
The winemaker is Alistair Gardner, a man with quite a reputation in the wine world, who was a college professor of Oenology from New Zealand. He is also participating in another interesting Jorge’s project, Bodegas Botani in Málaga.
The grapes for this wine were sourced from two (about 35 years old) estate vineyards. Located in the mountains next to El Barco de Valdeorras in the province of Orense (Galicia) in Northwest Spain, these are some oldest Godello vines in the region. The grapes were hand harvested and carefully manipulated in small baskets, so the skin of the grapes wouldn’t bruise.
The fruit was then hand basket pressed and underwent fermentation in large (500-600L barrels from many different coopers. Avanthia Godello aged for 14 months in new barrels.
Pouring this into your glass, it opens a lovely aroma of cantaloupe and pear, combined with wild flowers. On the palate it is rich, full bodied white, round and slightly spicy, with crisp acidity and minerality. The unusual amount of fruit pronounced on the palate might trick some into feeling that this wine is sweet. It really isn’t.
Although this exceptional white aged in oak for more than a year, the amazing fruit flavors didn’t get overpowered by it. Just the opposite – the fruit plays the first violin! Sweet tropical fruit notes such as melon, pear, pineapple or peach are supported by just the touch of spicy nutmeg, cinnamon or allspice.
Perfectly balanced. This wine is a masterpiece that will age gracefully for a few more years. It’s so worth to try! Unlike some superior Burgundy, you wouldn’t pay over close to $100 for such an impressive piece of art.
Dry – Off dry- Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $30.00
Ideal food pairing:
I would really recommend to try this wine on its own first. It deserves the attention. Then, what ever you fell would work, it probably will. From seafood to poultry or creamy sauces, it worked with anything I tried it with, so far. Please share your most unusual food pairing for this wine! I once made a simple tapas – grilled eggplant, brushed with olive oil and topped with Spanish anchovy. The saltiness of the anchovy worked miracles with this wine.