The 2020 'El Castro de Valtuille' Godello is a triumph. Luis Gutiérrez's 'Burgundian' description is apt: its palate is layered and broad with stunning notes of nectarine, white peach and lemon, plus a lightly spiced finish from oak ageing. The acidity is vibrant and saline, complimenting its weight and texture perfectly. A wine to both enjoy now, and lay a few bottles down for the future.
2020 is a very good vintage for whites too, even if the 2020 El Castro de Valtuille Godello has 1% more alcohol than the 2019 and is a little rounder. In 2020 they stopped doing any maceration and did a direct pressing of the destemmed grapes, so the wines are going to be a bit lighter than in the past. They don't do rackings or stir the lees, and they don't use any yeasts or oenological products. It's more Burgundian and more textured, with depth and complexity. 6,300 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2021, three weeks before I tasted it, and the wine felt a bit tight but quite sound and serious.
Castro Ventosa is a historic Bierzo winery, founded by the famed Perez family in 1752. Raul Perez (pictured above left) is one of the icons of modern Spain. His contemporaries and critics regard him as one of the country's great innovators, putting Bierzo on the map as a source of exceptional wine. He broke away from Castro Ventosa in the mid-00s and appointed his nephew César Márquez (pictured above right) at the helm. Raul still works very closely with César on the project. Still, as César's star has rocketed into the stratosphere (Luis Gutiérrez has widely praised his own eponymous wines in recent vintages) Castro Ventosa's wines have become an expert blend of these two talented winemakers' styles. Castro Ventosa has essentially become the wine equivalent to a Supergroup. If the Travelling Wilbury's or Them Crooked Vulture's made wine, this would be the result.