There is something magical about that moment when the lights leave behind the darkness that previously flooded the galleries. Add to that magic seeing rows of oak barrels filled with wine that you are about to taste. The humidity, the coolness in the ambient of these galleries is certainly daunting. Even more when you realize you are 20 or 30 meters below the ground level. It has an old movie atmosphere, these movies that make your eyes open wild when you begin to see unending rows of boxes full of secrets abandoned for decades.
A bar counter, old diner tables, some family paintings, an old wooden door and an huge old screw press, one of those occupying the entire room that needed three or four oxen to make it run. That’s all there is. That’s all there is now, because back in the day, it was only a ground level room full of debris. So much debris in fact, that it would require a long time to remove all of it to see the shape of the room. Once they started removing the debris, they discovered a blind door. This door was supposed to lead into a room, but what it hid behind was a ladder carved into the stone floor. The ladder went down and everything in the way had to be removed. He discovered a small underground gallery that was more than perfect in terms of adequate humidity and temperature conditions for the wine to make its transition from childhood to maturity.
Back in the day, the gallery was decorated with walls and rubble that covered the access to other unknown galleries that extended below the surface of Gumiel de Mercado, in the province of Burgos, Spain. And it is now, in these galleries, where Goyo García Viadero makes the ageing of his wines. There you feel out of time, out of space. Up there it can be sunny, it can rain, it can be day or night. Down here it does not matter, you find yourself alone with all that wine that when the lights go out again will continue its slow journey through life in the tranquility of the underground. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed in this place. Tunnels that seemed to harbor an old subway line used as a bomb shelter during the war that, however, is dedicated today to such hedonistic pleasure and make us enjoy a good wine.
Because Goyo makes exceptional wines with which you delight endlessly. Wines that I refer to as meditation wine. You grab a glass, a bottle and a corkscrew, you sit on a comfortable sofa or terrace, and with the glass in one hand you dedicate to meditate about how to solve any problem coming to your mind. The bad thing is that the wine, the whole bottle I mean, will run out before you have found a solution to the problem, but what you have enjoyed is not taken away by anyone.
I am not going to detail all the wines that Goyo makes and that I like, because it would take me a long time and you, as my faithful reader, would stop giving me your kind attention. Goyo produces a good bunch of wines, and all of them are wonderful. Not only those who are now ready to be enjoyed, like the 2018 vintage, but there are some wines Goyo plans to release into the market no sooner than in 2029. You read it well, not a mistake. One decade from now. He has wines in a batch of barrels, in the most remote part of the galleries, which will live there for ten years, and then will be bottled and put on the market. The wait is going to be difficult, it must be said. Any leads? Sorry, we will have to wait.
There are three of his wines, however, that make me lose my mind in joy when I taste them. A particular red of all those that Goyo makes and that are his specialty, the red wines. García Georgieva Finca Guijarrales 2018 is a 100% Graciano that amazes me. I’m not favoring red wines lately, but this wine is something truly exceptional.
Goyo started in 2017 experimenting with the maceration on the skins of a white wine. He started doing it with the Albillo grape. The result was García Georgieva Albillo, and it was good enough for him to add a second wine in 2019, this time with the Malvasia. This wine is García Georgieva Malvasia. In both cases, it is not a long period on the skins, just a few days. Giacomo always tells me that I have to explain the wines, and though I don’t like to do sensorial tastings, I can say that his Malvasia reminds me of the wines of my beloved Friuli, where that grape is one of my queens. A very, very well made wine, fresh and honest with the variety. For its part, Albillo is reputed to be a grape with low acidity. Perhaps for this reason Goyo has added 20% Malvasía. This is how you get a really balanced wine.
Both are wines with a very expressive and elegant nose and palate, wines that grab you from the first time you enjoy them. We were tasting both at the same time, each in a glass, and I was going from one to the other without rest, smelling, tasting, concentrating on the sensations evoked, on the tasted wines and on the wines to be tasted, meditating (again) on Goyo’s ability to make wines like these, with soul, with body, with personality and character.
Of course there will be people who will say that since Goyo works his wines naturally, nothing added, not even a small part of sulfites, they are not his thing. This fills me with satisfaction. Only a handful of bottles are produced of both wines, not even reaching 2,000 a year, so there will be more for me.
They are not my children, so I do not have to choose one among them. As long as I have two glasses at hand, I can always enjoy them at the same time. And that’s what I plan on doing.
We will talk about everything else with Goyo García Viadero. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy his wines.