Valdesil Montenovo Godello 2019 – a Spanish white wine for #SpanishLitMonth

Seeing as Stu’s Spanish Lit Month has been extended from July through to the end of August, I thought I would sneak in a brief wine post to tie in with the event before the month runs away with me! Luckily, white wines from Spain form much of the backbone of my summer drinking – alongside Italian whites and my beloved rosés, of course.

Galicia, in northwest Spain, is an area famed for its albariño – a crisp, citrusy white wine, often displaying a minerally edge. (I’ve written about this grape variety in the past – mostly recently in 2016, also as a nod to Spanish Lit Month, by chance.) Nevertheless, albariño isn’t the only grape variety Galicia has to offer; there is godello, too, a white wine with a little more body or ‘weight’ than its regional stablemate.  

Valdesil Montenovo Godello (2019) is an excellent example, an unoaked wine that hails from the Valdeorras Denominación de Origen (reputedly the best region for this particular grape). The vineyards in the Valdesil estate are worked by hand, with the Montenovo being the youngest, freshest expression of godello this winery produces.

In terms of flavour profile, there are notes of pear, peach and apple here, maybe with a touch of something minerally too. It’s a little reminiscent of unoaked white Burgundy – a more interesting, layered version, perhaps? A very well-balanced wine with enough body to stand up to chicken, garlic and a bit of chilli heat. If you like unoaked chardonnay but have never tried godello, I can only encourage you to give it a go – hopefully you’ll enjoy it too!

I bought this wine from The Wine Society, where the 2020 vintage is currently available at £12.50 per bottle. (Disclosure: I have a link to The Society, so the vast majority of my wines are purchased there.) Alternatively, you can use Wine Searcher to look for stockists of this wine and other gorgeous godellos!

And if you’re looking for something to read while sipping a Spanish wine in the garden, here are the links to my latest reviews for Spanish Lit Month:

Ana Maria Matute’s The Island (tr. Laura Lonsdale), a darkly evocative coming-of-age novel that draws on the blistering heat of Mallorca to great effect; and a round-up post on my other reading recommendations, including books by Javier Marías, Valeria Luiselli, Enrique Vila-Matas, and many more. Happy reading (and drinking) for Spanish Lit Month!

22 thoughts on “Valdesil Montenovo Godello 2019 – a Spanish white wine for #SpanishLitMonth

  1. madamebibilophile

    Sounds lovely! I know nothing about wine although I do mean to learn more as I enjoy it. I really appreciate the way you write about wine Jacqui, so I can understand and you do such a great job of evoking the flavours – thank you!

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Ah, you’re very welcome, Madame Bibi. And thank you for your kind comments about this post, that’s so lovely to hear! I’m trying to keep these notes as approachable as possible – not too technical or elitist, which would be off-putting for people to read.

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Yes, I’ve definitely become more sensitive to oak over the past 10 or 15 years. Maybe our tastes change somewhat as we get older — I know mine have! — but it’s interesting to reflect on our preferences nonetheless. This godello is a great example of an interesting, unoaked wine with enough body to stand up to something like chicken or a ‘meaty’ fish like tuna. Definitely a current favourite.

      Reply
  2. heavenali

    Gorgeous. I miss wine, I drink so rarely these days. The Island really should be a novel I look out for, darkly evocative coming of age, sounds right up my street.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      I’m sure you must miss it, Ali (I know I would)… On the book front, The Island is definitely a novel I would recommend to you, especially given its focus on family, coming-of-age, political history and vivid setting. There’s a lot going on for a relatively slim book.

      Reply
  3. MarinaSofia

    I’ve never tried Spanish white wines, I have to confess (I’m afraid I’m mostly a French, Italian or New Zealand white wine girl). Sounds lovely. Am tempted to join the Wine Society, but am afraid it might have a very bad effect on my alcohol consumption.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      They’re well worth trying. I probably drink more Spanish than Italian whites these days, partly because I find some Italian wines a touch too heavy on the acidity for my tastes. This godello is super, very rounded and well balanced. It’s worth a try (as is albariño) if you fancy taking a punt.

      As for The Wine Society, I would recommend them very highly (even without my personal links). Their prime focus is quality – in terms of the wines, their customer (members) service and communications. As you probably know, they’re a members cooperative (rather than a PLC), so the majority of profits are ploughed back into The Society’s activities, services, prices etc. for the benefit of members. Plus, their range is enormous, with plenty of choice at the lower end of the price spectrum. (It’s much more than a retailer of fine wines and en Primeur!) Anyway, I’d better stop gushing before you run away. As Simon says in his comment below, they’re the best!

      Reply
  4. Tredynas Days

    I’m another who doesn’t recall trying this particular wine before, but I’m a big fan of Spanish whites. I always used to prefer red, but find it doesn’t agree with me so well these days. I’ve probably said here before, I was gifted a membership of the Wine Society by my late father-in-law years ago: one of the best presents ever – they’re the best.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      It’s well worth giving this grape variety a go, Simon, especially as you’re a fan of Spanish whites. In terms of style, it’s more rounded (and less bracing) than albariño, which you’re probably very familiar with. And yes, I do recall you mentioning the membership gift, although I’d forgotten that it had come from your late father-in-law. What a thoughtful present on his part. I’m delighted to hear that you value it so much!

      Reply
  5. Jane

    I love this Jacqui, I really miss not being able to go to Spain (and Northern Spain is my favourite) so a book and wine recomendation is perfect, thank you!

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Very welcome, Jane. Bilboa is probably the closest I’ve been to Galicia in person, but it was lovely to take a vicarious trip to the region courtesy of this godello!

      Reply
  6. Dark Puss

    I had an excellent white Marques de Murrietta “Capellania” recently, so delicious though occasionally I do miss the heavy over-oaked white Rioja of yore. I will order some of the wine you described in this post [disclosure I am a shareholder in The Wine Society] and let you know what I think. I am dining at Moro this coming week, always a source of interesting wines from the Iberian peninsula.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Oh, that does sound nice. I’ve have a Rioja Reserva from Marques de Murrietta in the past but not their white. A real treat, I’m sure! Do let me know what you think of this godello when you try it; I’d be very interested to know. And I hope you have a lovely time at Moro, it’s bound to be divine!

      Reply

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