Papa Godello ($16.99)
From the Importer:
"Papa is an estate-bottled wine produced by Ladera Sagrada in the Valdeorras DO region, located in northwest Spain. From 2004 to 2010 Papa has sold out every year within three months of release. The Godello grapes that go into it make Papa a jewel of a wine. Able to age similar [sic] to Chardonnay in white Burgundy, Godello is rapidly becoming the most popular white grape in Spain ahead of Albariño and Verdejo. Many top Spanish winemakers and Spanish wine writers believe Godello will be the grape that will put Spanish white wines 'on the map.' A grape that can communicate more than fruit, Godello conveys the geography of its place of origin, the aromas and flavors that the soil imparts to the wine. The vineyards farmed to make Papa are full of slate and granite, and the wine shows assertive aromas of rosemary, thyme, and oregano, underscored by a firm mineral character.
This wine is a superb value made from estate owned, organically grown grapes. Ladera Sagrada has the largest holdings of vineyard land in the Valdeorras appellation, and the bodega makes wine using only the best 20% of its grapes. The rest of the given year's harvest is sold in bulk to other neighboring producers. Ladera Sagrada can source the best quality of grapes in Valdeorras and it has the ability to make the best wine values because it doesn't need to buy grapes from other growers. The mineral character of Papa gives the wine a special identity.
Precise, high-pitched aromas of lime zest, quinine, jasmine and ginger. Juicy, focused and youthfully tight, with bright acidity adding bite to fresh citrus and orchard fruit qualities. Shows a suave blend of power and vivacity, finishing with lingering floral and lime qualities."
This white wine hits all the notes for me: minerality, citrus, offbeat, and good with or without food. The winery only produces 1800 cases of this per year, so it's a great price for a relatively small-batch wine of this kind of quality. Papa comes to us from Ole Imports, whose wines I cannot recommend highly enough. I carry several others from them, and they are all incredible values for the money.
Honoro Vera Organic Monastrell ($8.99)
From the Producer:
"Wine produced under organic regulations established in the European Union norm as well as in the U.S. -NOP certification. The vines are planted on chalky soils without irrigation and very low yields, with an annual rainfall below 300 mm, there is no room for chemical products or synthetic pesticides in our daily work.
It exhibits great aromatic complexity, richness, and length. This mouth-filling Monastrell over-delivers in a big way. Drink it over the next 4 years.
Rice, pasta, (noodles, spaghetti, macaroni), vegetables, mushroom, stewed meat, sausage, pork, roast meat, red and/or white meat with sauces, grilled meat, short or medium cheeses."
Produced by Bodegas Juan Gil, this wine is an entry-level for them, though you wouldn't know that by drinking it. It's smooth and supple, with the slight pepper that I love from this varietal. The winemakers take pains to be true to the grape, and in their efforts they have succeeded. This is a perfect cold-weather wine that pairs wonderfully with comfort food of all kinds.
Torres 5G Garnacha ($13.99)
Campo de Borja
From the producer:
"Five generations seeking the perfect Garnacha. Since Jaime and Miguel Torres founded the winery in 1870, every generation has contributed to building a legacy. Every generation has passed on its passion for winemaking, its knowledge and craft. 5G springs from the inspiration and innovative spirit of five generations well versed in the potential of this variety. Every family has a story. So does every wine.
The 5G Garnachas is fragrant and sensual. Pronounced red fruit aromas (strawberry, red currant, raspberry) on the nose framed by notes of aromatic herbs (thyme and rosemary). Fresh, pleasant and smooth on the palate with good acidity.
Pairs perfectly with traditional Mediterranean and Catalonian recipes such as meat stews, grilled meat, arroces montañeses (hearty rice dishes with meat), and noodle casseroles with spare ribs."
This is a delicious blend of five Garnachas (Grenache) from the Campo de Borja region of north-central Spain. It is fruity and robust, but smooth and easy to drink. It will certainly warm you from the inside on a cold night. The Torres family is dedicated to environmental responsibility, and aims to keep their footprint small, while producing wines that reflect the soil, climate, and delicate craftsmanship of their many generations.