2018 Sonoma Valley Godello
While my introduction to Godello was in Galicia and Bierzo in northwestern Spain, the variety has also been growing for many years in Portugal, where it is called Gouveio (though until a few years ago it was also called Verdelho, despite being quite distinct from the grape named that in Madeira—but that confusion is over now). Right after harvest in 2018 I had the pleasure of visiting Portugal again and exploring Gouveio’s expressions in several terroirs there. While several producers note its “affinity for oak” and richness, the majority of these wines are bright, juicy, and linear, which I prefer. Too much alcohol and oak obscure varietal and site definition, and I prefer wines with distinctions, rather than blending into the formulaic “luxury cuvee” miasma.