Avanthia is a knockout, compelling young project unveiling itself in the Galician mountains of Valdeorras in Spain’s extreme northwest. I remain in awe of Avanthia’s interpretation of Mencia and Godello after discovering these wines in complete serendipitous fashion. Magic in a bottle flows from this collaboration involving Jumilla’s established Monastrell-proficient Gil family, venerable importer Jorge Ordonez, and the early visionary resurrectors of some excellent Valdeorras’ Godello vineyards, Bodegas Godeval, who started making Godello in the same 13th century monastery structure that Avanthia takes life in today.
Without any knowledge of the wine, but driven by a serious Mencia infatuation, I bought the last three bottles of ($55-$60 ****1/2) 2007 Avanthia Mencia from Seaholm Wines & Liquors in Huntington, NY back in January. I tasted it a couple weeks ago with my friend, and Certified Spanish Wine Instructor, Rich who writes at The Passionate Foodie, and then found myself back at Seaholm this weekend grabbing some ($25 ****) 2008 Avanthia Godello which we immediately gulped down with a serious pasta dish I whipped up during our New York family clan get together.
Rich Auffrey was equally impressed and has done a far better job than I can aspire to sharing his impressions of the Mencia and some further regional and project background in this Passionate Foodie “Wine Blogging Wednesday” post. Rich presents identical tasting notes to my own. I will add that this wine is not shy, achieves maximum flavor and richness without ever crossing the line of over extraction, and tells you what it is all about in an unmistakeable and compelling fashion. It is part of a handful of wines I acquired over the last year that will always feel regretfully understocked in my cellar.
I have been playing around with Godello for a year now. The varietal perplexes and teases me. It sits at the crossroads of my evolving and seemingly schizophrenic palate. The rich and flavorful California Chardonnays that I lusted for during the better part of my early years of wine enthusiasm have now been shoved aside by more acidic, restrained, crisp, and mineral laden white wines that add pucker, definition, and vibrancy to the drinking experience. Each Godello I drink brings forth the richness I once cherished but combines it with accompanying freshness and acidity in a marriage I never really thought possible. It is literally the best of both worlds, and is a big hit with the spectrum of preferences that comprise a lifetime of wine sensibility.
The Avanthia Godello is first rich and velvety, almost passing forward the smooth fuzzy skin of its unmistakeable peach aromas and flavors. There is melon flavor as well, and these fruits make for a rich summer fruit palate experience. But right alongside those flavors is crisp acidity that provides a backbone and structure that defies flabbiness, creates salivation, and keeps the rich wine bright in ways that I have only experienced with Godello. It is fun, interesting, multidimensional, and utterly delicious in its attack, mid palate, and finish. At times I thought the wine’s richness and fruit might overwhelm our dish, but it never did, always performing like a heroic food friendly wine.
Avanthia is releasing world class wine that will please a wide range of palate preferences. There is a rich and modern flavor style that is respectful to variety, region, and balance. If you can not find them, check here at wine-searcher. I doubt you will be disappointed.