Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil 2009

Telmo Rodriguez
Gaba do Xil 2009
Valdeorras DO, Galicia, Spain
$24-28  +624353 Available in select private liquor stores

Writing about value bottles for the month of January led me to think about the term ‘value’. I am often asked for good ‘value’ wines. What that means depends on who is asking. Some people equate value with an under $10 price tag. Others might use the term for valuable, or rare and hard to find bottles. I agree with both points, but I also like to think of value wines as those that outperform their market price. Wines that you LOVE to stumble across in a blind tasting, pegging the price as double or triple what it retails for. So if it covers one of the points above, I’m content with value. Here in BC, with our liquor taxation system, ‘value’ is relative – I’m comparing apples to apples on this market. Yes – I know you can hop across the border and by the exact same wines for $10, $20, $50 less. Don’t remind me!

OK. So how do you find value wines? One way is to pick a lesser-known region on our market, where unknown geography equals lower prices on the shelf. This wine fits the bill (plus is rarely seen, plus tastes beyond its mid-$20’s price – value alert!) Telmo Rodriguez (or T-Rod, as his groupies know him) is a young, passionate Spanish winemaking pioneer – crafting terroir-driven wines from unique vineyards across his country. Instead of the “flying winemaker” moniker, he calls himself a “driving winemaker”, crisscrossing Spain via autopistas. In addition to this wine in the extreme and frontier Valdeorras, Rodriguez makes wines – well, all over the place – see his map below.


He specializes in reviving ancient grape varieties and preserving the culture of the region. This wine is 100% Godello [go-DAY-o] grape, from terraced stony, granitic, shallow soils and after time on the lees in stainless steel. The minerality of the soil pierces through the ripe pear flesh of this wine. Granny smith apple, lemon, bitter herbs and lanolin-waxy pear melon flavours are tightened by a bright citrus acidity. Partner with citrus scented scallops, octopus or white fish.

89 Points



Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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