Two Summer Whites to consider – Godello & Gruner Veltliner

With the weather improving and thoughts of summer barbecues ahead here are a couple of excellent white wines that generally don’t hit the headlines as much as they should.The first is an Austrian Gruner Veltliner sold in Morrisons and the other a Spanish Godello (although this particular one I bought in Spain, Godello is now widely available in most supermarkets and wine retailers).

I first reviewed these wines a little while ago but thought I’d remind you guys how good both these grapes can be

Gruner Veltliner 2013

Gruner Veltliner or to the trendies ‘Gru Vee’ (Austin Powers springs to mind) is the signature grape from Austria and this ‘Signature series’ bottle from Morrisons was a real pleasant surprise to me.

I must admit Austrian wines are generally not top of my shopping list but Gru Vee may well find its way into my shopping basket from now on, especially as the summer arrives.

When poured it was a beautifully clear and fresh looking in the glass and looked very inviting but I was a little disappointed when after sticking my nose in the glass the aromas were fairly muted, there was a faint hint of peach but not much else however vigorously I swirled.

The real pleasure in this wine is the taste, bursting with crisp freshness the citrus fruits danced around in my mouth, a little lemon peel which gave it that slight bitterness along with maybe a touch of grapefruit added to the liveliness. There was also the peach which gave it a sweetness to counteract the tartness but what really was noticeable was the spice in the form of white pepper, which really came through on the finish which was incredibly long.

I drank this with fish but I would say it’s extremely flexible and would pair with most foods including spicy curries. Gruner Veltliner may not be on everyone’s radar but if you haven’t tried it give it a go, brilliant for summer sun and barbecues.
‘Gru Vee Baby’

Godelia Godello / Dona Blanca

I first discovered Godello when travelling in northern Spain a few years ago when we stopped at a bar in a sleepy town in the Bierzo region. Sitting outside eating Octopus (Pulpo) with a plate of grilled peppers, olives and freshly baked bread.

I asked what wines they recommend I was told to try a local white wine called Godello, having never heard of it I decided to take a chance and thank goodness I did as it is now probably my favourite wine white.

The food was delicious and on an extremely hot day, the chilled wine was the perfect pairing.

Since then I have sought out many Godello’s and found out that they do vary in style, the one I had at that bar was very Chardonnay like, intense, fleshy with peaches, pears and quite oaky but I have had bottles that are non-oaked, fresh, crisp, acidic, showing apples and slightly salty.

This particular bottle I bought in Murcia in a small wine shop opposite the local food market. It was an Aladdin’s cave of wine with racks upon racks of bottles some covered in dust but I was searching for Godello and eventually came across a few bottles and took a chance with this Godelia which is predominately Godello 80% with 20% of a grape called Donna Blanca (used in making white Port).

This was very aromatic with a bright stone fruit acidity, although still slightly creamy tasting. Flowery and even a hint of almonds.

As I said earlier, Godello does vary quite a bit in style from fresh and minerally to something with a bit more weight but both styles are brilliant and must be tried.

Gruner Veltliner and Godello, two summer whites you must drink and both are now widely available and easy to find, so go on, treat yourself you may well be surprised.

1 Comment

  1. Godello, well that’s not a surprise from you Dave, but you talking about Gruner Veltliner is. You captured it immediately and accurately the moment you mentioned white pepper. Apologies for reminiscing, but I remember a visit to Vienna in my late teens / early twenties (I’m >60 now) and visiting an old Viennese wine bar, not in Grinzing (a wine village in the Viennese outskirts and end of the tram line), but in the city centre itself with old wooden vats serving ‘Gru Vee’ by the glass (scribbled in chalk on the vat/barrels) and the thing I got back then was white pepper. A very good recommendation to others, indeed do ‘try it’.

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