The first wine tonight will be the Capricho Godello, Bierzo 2017
Bodegas y Viñedos Gancedo is the grower, and here’s where you’ll find them.
Here’s what the grower says about the Bierzo DO, all ‘sic’:
“El Bierzo is a region located in the west of the province of León whose scenic and cultural value keep centuries of tradition and history.
“Rivers, valleys and mountains are natural concepts of Bierzo, a visual harmony where the Camino de Santiago through the vineyards is a journey through the dreams of the villages and converse with its inhabitants is the starting point for the ancestrale traditions.
“The rich cuisine is diverse and comes from the land. The botillo, roasted peppers, Reineta apple and of course wine are adequate sensory balance for an immersion in the culture and tradition of Bierzo.”
WIth regard to godello, according to Jancis’s Oxford companion:
“Godello — fine white grape variety native to north west Spain and northern Portugal rescued from near extinction in the 1980s and grown on more than 1,200 ha/2,964 acres of north west Spanish vineyard by 2011. As Godello it is responsible for well-structured, tense dry whites in valdeorras, although dna profiling suggested that it is identical to a Portuguese variety known as Gouveio in the Douro and also in Dão (where it was until recently known as Verdelho do Dão).”
Bodegas y Viñedos Gancedo cultivates 19 hectares of old vines that are up to 100 years old. They are growing mencía, godello and doña blanca. This godello comes from 4 hectares of 20-year-old bush vines in the steep Lamas de Picon vineyard on sandy and rocky soil.
There is no oak involved in the winemaking – it’s all stainless steel.
Our note says:
“A new find by Pierre this year, this is a superb godello which vies with albariño to be Galicia’s noble white grape. Unoaked, dry and steely with vibrant lemony fruit and a whistle-clean finish.”
Our suggested food matches are somewhat fishy: gazpacho, olive-based hors d’oeuvres, prawns, seafood salad, pasta and risotto.
The second wine tonight is Viña Zorzal Corral de Los Altos Garnacha, Navarra 2015
Antonio Sanz founded this estate in April 1989, with the help of two of his friends and fellow wine lovers, and it has gone on to achieve great popularity, particularly for its work with the lesser-known graciano grape native to the Navarra region. It is now run by the second generation of the Sanz family, brothers Xabi and Iñaki, who oversee sales and winemaking respectively. The brothers have injected a new lease of life into the portfolio, and were both responsible for creating the highly successful Zorzal wine range.
The modern winery is in the village of Corella, in the Ribero Baja area of Navarra, the region which borders Rioja. It is a fertile area known for its wine, fruit and farming, with a Mediterranean climate and sun-drenched slopes bordering the river Ebro, making for excellent grape growing conditions.
The Sanz family has 70 hectares of vines, some of which – including the graciano and garnacha used for the Zorzal range we buy – are over 35 years old. As well as graciano and garnacha, the estate grows tempranillo, mazuelo, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.
In the winery, the team works hard to preserve the natural fruity character of its wines.
This Corral de los Altos is 100% garnacha from a tiny plot of 43-year-old vines, grown on just 2.1 hectares of rocky soil on the top of a high plateau where the northerly “cierzo” wind places a key role.
They harvest early, fermentation happens spontaneously with wild yeasts in 2000-litre wooden vats, before the wine is transferred into two-year-old French 225-litre barrels where it stays for nine months.
Our note says: From a tiny plot of old-vine garnacha, which produces a compelling Spanish red. A pure, flamboyant and very serious wine from the talented Zorzal team.
Our suggested food matches include: cottage pie, burgers, mixed grill, pie and mash, steak and kidney pudding … you’re getting the picture!