Emilio Moro El Zarzal 2018
#91 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2021Very light yellow straw color. The nose is fresh and fragrant with notes of ripe white fruit, dry flowers and mineral notes. In the palate, it maintains its freshness and it is very pleasurable to drink thanks to well-balanced acidity and alcohol.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Bright, green-tinged straw. Sharply focused Meyer lemon, pear and honeysuckle aromas take on smoky mineral and spicy ginger flourishes with air. Silky and well-delineated on the palate, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that deepen slowly with aeration. Shows depth as well as energy and finishes sappy and long, with resonating floral and mineral notes.
The entry level white, the 2018 El Zarzal is 100% Godello that spent 8 months in French oak foudre. It's another beautifully done white from this estate that has juicy melon and pineapple fruits, plenty of spice and subtle creamy nuances, medium-bodied richness, juicy acidity, and a clean, crisp finish. It will be hard to beat as a tapas wine.
Even if they are not quite from the Duero zone but from Bierzo, I also tasted their whites produced with Godello grapes, including the 2018 El Zarzal, which has 13% alcohol, very good acidity and low pH. It was produced with fruit from vines averaging 15 years of age, fermented in oak at controlled temperature and matured in French 2,500-liter oak foudres with the lees for eight months. It's expressive and aromatic, with some grape-pulp aromas, somewhat floral and with a spicy touch. It's varietal and clean, with integrated oak, a medium-bodied palate and a refreshing finish, serious and with a mineral twist.
Bodegas Emilio Moro is one of the oldest leading quality producers in Ribera del Duero. The history of the family goes back 3 generations. 1st generation Emilio Moro was born in 1891 and 2nd generation Emilio Moro in 1932. Both were born in a viticulture environment surrounded by vineyards and grew up treading grapes and racking wine in their native village of Pesquera de Duero, in the province of Valladolid.
Emilio Moro taught his son, Emilio how to make wine but also to love it. Then Emilio passed along that knowledge, passion, and love for wine to the third generation. Currently the third and fourth generation together run the winery.
The vineyards were grafted with the purest clone of Tinto Fino, commonly known as Tempranillo, recovered from the oldest vineyards that the family owns, Valderramiro and Resalso. Currently the family owns more than 200 hectares. They are located between 2,400 to 3,000 feet of elevation.
The third generation lead by Javier, Rubi and Fabiola started the newest project of the family when they were looking to the area within Spain capable of producing the best white wine. They settled in Bierzo in 2016 and have been making wines there with Godello variety ever since.
“Wine is art. If you listen, it speaks to you, it tells you when it needs to rack, when to rest. It’s like a living being that needs to be understood and cared for”. D. Emilio Moro
One of the few northwestern Spanish regions with a focus on a red variety, Bierzo, part of Castilla y León, is home to the flowery and fruity Mencia grape. Mencia produces balanced and bright red wines full of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, baking spice, pepper and black licorice. The well-drained soils of Bierzo are slate and granite.
Godello is native to northwest Spain and has experienced a major revival in the last 20 years. Godello wines are typically sleek and lightly creamy in texture. Barrel fermentation and lees stirring are typical in Valdeorras, Spain where the grape comes from. These winemaking techniques make the most of Godello's inherent structure and help bring out its lovely floral character. Somm Secret—DNA profiling says that Spain’s Godello is actually identical to the Portugese grape variety Gouveio, which grows throughout the Douro and Dão (where it used to mistakenly be called Verdelho).