Alvaredos-Hobbs Ribeira Sacra Godello 2018
A collaboration between Paul Hobbs and Galician viticultor Antonio López Fernández. Slate soils with some clay, volcanic and quartz and steep, south-facing slopes (up to 55-degree incline). Fermented with indigenous yeast in foudre where it ages for 10 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A white with dried-pear and nougat aromas and flavors and just a hint of coconut. It’s medium-bodied with a fresh, steely finish. Refined and tight. New wine from California’s Paul Hobbs in Riberia Sacra. Drink now.
In 2014, acclaimed vintner Paul Hobbs was introduced to Antonio López, a Galician-American with family roots in the tiny village of Alvaredos (population: 13 families) in the Ribeira Sacra. His family had owned vineyards there since the late 1800s, and his grandfather had painstakingly planted a new one in 1968—a cherished childhood memory for López—but the new generation had since moved to the United States, and many parcels were becoming neglected or even sold off until the early 2000s when he began to reacquire and replant some of them while investing in restoring many old historic houses in the town itself.
The fortuitious meeting with Hobbs was all the encouragement either needed—soon, they were walking the vineyards and laying the groundwork for what would become Hobbs’ latest international project: Alvaredos-Hobbs. The combination of stunning sites (just over 5 hectares in total spread among 14 tiny parcels on steep slate and quartz slopes of up to 55% grade) with the winemaking know-how of local native Cecilia Fernández (who worked for nearly a decade at Rafael Palacios of Valdeorras, producer of some of the worlds most sought-after Godellos) has resulted in an inaugural 2018 Godello that is true to variety, landscape, and family. (And stay tuned for red in the future, as some of the vines include Mencía, Garnacha Tintorera, and Sousón…)
In keeping with López’s longstanding mission to revitalize the town of Alvaredos—one in which he has already personally invested—a portion of the proceeds from this project will also go to a local nonprofit whose mission is to combat the effects of rural depopulation both here and in other ‘disappearing villages’ of Galicia.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
Godello is native to northwest Spain and has experienced a major revival in the last 20 years. Godello wines are typically sleek and lightly creamy in texture. Barrel fermentation and lees stirring are typical in Valdeorras, Spain where the grape comes from. These winemaking techniques make the most of Godello's inherent structure and help bring out its lovely floral character. Somm Secret—DNA profiling says that Spain’s Godello is actually identical to the Portugese grape variety Gouveio, which grows throughout the Douro and Dão (where it used to mistakenly be called Verdelho).