Unlike the majority of their Bierzo counterparts, Ribeira Sacra Godellos are firmly structured and full of wonderful tension. This has subtle yet complex aromas of limonera pear, green apple, fresh cut herbs, jasmine and hints of stony minerality. The palate is mid-weight and elegant, with plenty of zesty acids and wonderful length. This is an exceptionally clean, stylish and modern-styled Godello that’s a versatile food partner. Pair with grilled prawns, mussels in sauce, planked salmon or roast chicken.
A high quality grape hailing from northwest Spain and northern Portugal, Godello is experiencing a renaissance of late. Generally speaking, it makes nicely structured wines with finesse, and shows notes of grapefruit, green pear, peach and sometimes stony minerality.
Located in the heart of Galacia, Ribeira Sacra is one of Spain’s oldest and most obscure wine regions, known for its dramatic, deep valleys and extremely steep, terraced vineyards that cut through its many rivers and tributaries. Ribeira Sacra is home to a wide array of indigenous grape varieties, chief among them for whites being Albariño and Godello (the real star of the region). Red grapes include obscure varieties like Brancellao, Merenzao and Souson, along with the most planted and well known, Mencia. The geologic landscape varies greatly, with schist, granite and slate the most prevalent soil types. Vineyard sites in the region’s west are heavily influenced by the Atlantic ocean and its moderating climatic effect. As you move east and inland, the climate becomes more traditionally Continental. In general, climatic conditions here make grape growing a somewhat difficult process. When combined with naturally low yields and necessary ‘heroic viticulture’, Ribeira Sacra vineyards are labour-intensive and costly to manage. But the results can be well worth the expense, with the very best wines offering a rare combination of freshness, power, elegance, fruit intensity and complex savoury intrigue. They are at their best at the table alongside a variety of fare, Spanish and otherwise.
Sourced from the Adega’s Eloy Vineyard overlooking the river Edo. Elevation ranges between 400 and 550 meters above sea level. Southeast facing with very poor schist-based subsoil.
Hand-picked grapes were pressed and fermented in steel tanks. Must was left on the lees for months. A small proportion was fermented in French oak barrels.
Founded in 1898, Ponte da Boga is Ribeira Sacra’s oldest winery. Purchased in 2006 by the Rivera family, they’ve refocused their efforts on growing and vinifying ancient, autochthonous regional varieties. Notably among them being Godello, Mencia and the ultra-rare, Merenzao. Their 33 hectares of vineyards are found surrounding the canyons of rivers Sil, Mino and Edo. The majority of plots are found on dizzyingly steep slopes where ‘heroic viticulture’ is necessary: worked by hand using harnesses, sometimes accessed only by boats from the river. Their oldest vines date to over 100 years, and all are farmed by hand according to the concept of integrated management: using natural preventative measures to keep the vines healthy and pest-free. The wines are fresh and elegant, with a subtle complexity and exceptional drinkability.