Valdeorras

2021 Valdesil Valderroa Mencia

12 x 750ml
The Collective Review

All the Valdesil offer the kind of finesse, interest and sense of place found only in the wines of the very best grower-producers of northern Spain.

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

The rocky soils, high altitude and cold Atlantic weather patterns have helped sculpt a lifted, racy, tangy Galician red with stunning blue fruits, spice and drive. It’s a bright and juicy berry scented red, with some peony floral and warm baking spice notes, wet-steel minerality, lithe tannins and a spotless, refreshing finish. Try stopping at one glass.

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Winemakers Note

Best known as a white-wine grower, Valdesil also makes a little Mencía of terrific quality. The fruit for this wine-bar classic comes from old bush vines planted between 500 and 550 metres up on south-facing, slate-rich slopes in the mountainous eastern limits of Valdeorras. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks.

 

The rocky soils, high altitude and cool Atlantic weather help sculpt a lifted, racy, tangy, cherry-scented Galician red. It has floral and spice notes as well as a plush, silky texture and racy acidity. It’s a joy to drink and built to wash down a variety of foods. If slate rocks your world, then this is for you!

Bodegas Valdesil
It may represent just a pinprick on the Spanish wine map, yet the mineral and slate-rich mountainous region of Valdeorras is one of Europe’s most exciting white wine regions. No grower’s history is as deeply intertwined with the region, or its signature grape variety of Godello, as the Prada-Gayoso family.

Back in 1885, at a time when vineyards were planted with multiple varieties, José Ramón Gayoso planted the region’s first 100% Godello vineyard. This vineyard, named Pedrouzos—with ancient, gnarled vines still in production today—squeezes out just 500 litres of precious juice each year to make one of Spain’s most profound white wines.

All the Valdesil offer the kind of finesse, interest and sense of place found only in the wines of the very best grower-producers of northern Spain.

Pedrouzos is the oldest producing Godello vineyard in the world. Fortunately for us, José Ramón Gayos’s descendants didn’t stop there. Using massale cuttings from the original site, the family populated a mosaic of small vineyards (pezas), across the Sil Valley, predominantly around the village of A Portela. These pezas now form the core holdings of this trailblazing estate. Yet, the Valdesil story does not begin and end with Godello—the indigenous Mencía is also well represented.

In more recent times, Valdesil has continued to act as a regional pioneer in both viticulture and winemaking. The team were the first to introduce vertical shoot positioning, cover crops, strict organic methods and increased planting densities in the area. Valdesil was also among the first to return to natural yeast fermentation and barrel maturation. Current owners Borja and Raul Prada Luengo are also trialling biodynamic methods, a significant undertaking in this cool corner of green Spain.

The Valdesil wines are products of old vines and low yields and are naturally fermented, aged on lees and bottled unfiltered. Expect textural, mineral whites with a weight and mouthfeel that resemble that of quality white Burgundy. Valdesil’s Mencías are the kind of juicy, thirst-quenching and mineral-scented reds that wine bars were made for.

 

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