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Benito Santos, Godello, Monterrei, 2021

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Benito Santos is a central figure in the modern history of Albariño and the Rias Baixas DO. He began working in his grandfather’s vineyards in the 1930’s making wine for his bar. In the 1960’s he repeatedly won prizes in the Annual Fiesta de Albarino in Cambados and was was instrumental in the creation of the DO in the 1980’s. The winery was built in 1979. He is buried nearby in the grounds of the Monastery of Calago in Arousa.

In his work he showed sincerity and a respect for nature (organic farming) enabling the wines to show the character of their terroir. Benito Santos believed that “wine should be made in the vineyard not in the winery.”

Current winemaker Jose Antonio Porto concurs and carries on the tradition.

In 1995, they leased 8 hectares in Monterrei to the east planted since Roman times. Situated on the Tamega river, a tributary of the Douro, south of Ourense. The climate is more continental here. Only 394 hectares are planted. Santos’ vineyard is in the Ladeira de Monterrei subregion, on the slopes.

This Godello has delciously fresh aromas of cucumber, white melon and herbs which continues onto the palette. Aged 3 months on lees the wine definitely has some structure but this is wound around the white stone fruit, citrus, stone, and fresh herbs. Lovely long refreshing finish.

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