From: Bierzo, Spain
Blend: Godello and Doña Blanca
Taste: This excellent white wine showcases a brilliant pale gold hue in the glass. On the nose, it presents an enticing bouquet of ripe orchard fruits, such as green apple and pear, complemented by subtle floral notes of jasmine and honeysuckle. As the wine opens up, hints of citrus, wet stone, and delicate white pepper emerge, adding complexity to the aromatic profile.
On the palate, this Godello and Doña Blanca blend offers a harmonious balance between its rich, concentrated fruit flavors and its bright, refreshing acidity. The wine's medium body is supported by a precise minerality, which adds depth and character to the wine. Flavors of Meyer lemon, quince, and nectarine are integrated with subtle nuances of almond and brioche, a testament to its time spent in French oak barrels. The finish is long and lingering, with a subtle salinity that leaves you craving another sip.
Pairing: The 2018 La Vizcaína 'La Del Vivo' Lomas de Valtuille is a versatile wine that pairs well with a wide range of dishes. Its bright acidity and rich fruit flavors make it an excellent choice for seafood dishes, such as grilled or poached fish, scallops (check out the recipe below!), or shrimp. The wine's mineral complexity also complements dishes featuring fresh herbs and citrus, like lemon and herb roasted chicken or citrus-marinated ceviche.
For vegetarian options, this wine pairs exceptionally well with dishes that showcase earthy and umami flavors. Consider pairing it with a wild mushroom risotto or a creamy spinach and artichoke pasta. The wine's acidity and minerality also make it a great match for heartier vegetable dishes, such as roasted root vegetables or a warm lentil and vegetable salad. The subtle nuttiness of the wine works harmoniously with dishes featuring cheeses like goat cheese, feta, or a mild, creamy brie.
Buttery Scallops With Lemon and Herbs
By Melissa Clark
About. The northwestern corner of Spain is home to the Bierzo region, where viticulturalist Raúl Pérez has been experimenting with unique and historic grape varieties in his La Vizcaína project. The 2018 La Vizcaína 'La Del Vivo' Lomas de Valtuille is a testament to Pérez's dedication to preserving the rich varietal diversity found in Galicia and the surrounding areas.
Located in the village of Valtuille de Abajo, La Vizcaína explores the hillside crus surrounding Pérez's hometown. The project currently produces four reds and one white wine, all made from vines with over fifty years of average age. While the red wines are labeled as 100% Mencía, they, in fact, contain significant quantities of other local grapes, such as Trousseau, Sousón, Alicante Bouschet, Brancellao, and Caiño. This rich diversity of grape varieties is due to the famous Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route that has contributed to the distribution of vine cuttings throughout northwestern Spain since the 9th century.
The 2018 La Vizcaína 'La Del Vivo' Lomas de Valtuille is a blend of Godello and Doña Blanca grape varieties, sourced from the La Poulosa and Las Villegas vineyards. These vineyards, planted in 1940 and 1925 respectively, span an aggregate of 1.5 hectares, with elevations between 500-550 meters above sea level. The soils of La Poulosa consist of clay, while Las Villegas features sandy soil.
The grapes are divided into two parts during the wine production process. Approximately 80% are pressed and decanted, then fermented in 500-liter and 700-liter French barrels, remaining untouched for a year. The remaining 20% ferment with skins in clay amphorae, also remaining untouched for a year. The two parts are then blended, and the wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
The Godello grape variety, originating in Galicia, almost faced extinction in the 20th century, with only a few hundred vines remaining by the 1970s. Thanks to Horacio Fernández and Luis Hidalgos, Godello has experienced a resurgence in popularity, now boasting over 1000 hectares of vineyards in Galicia alone. Godello is known for its intense, mineral-rich, and long-lived wines that respond well to barrel fermentation.
The lesser-known Doña Blanca grape variety is primarily used in the production of White Port and occasionally in dry table wines. It is an aromatic variety, producing wines that are perfumed, light, and delicate. Doña Blanca's late-ripening nature and thick skins contribute to its high level of phenolics.
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