I know that the title of this post is going to come across as a bit of a stretch, no, a LOT of a stretch. How or what is Sibling Rivalry in wine?
A better place to start is at the beginning, seems logical. Anyway, I happened to get into a discussion on Instagram with @kristy_winetraveler, a wine blogger, wine Instagram influencer or whatever people like to call themselves these days (for the record @kristy_winetraveler doesn’t use a monogram, she is, however the CCO of @winetraveler_com; check it out on my “Friends” page or direct at www.winetraveler.com), about a particular white Burgundy she had and asking anyone, and I quote “What was your favorite wine this week?”
Never one to ignore a request from a fellow Instagrammer, I jumped in to tell her I had just had a bottle of a great Godello from the Valdeorras DO in Spain, the Avancia Old Vines Godello 2015, actually one I had done a review in my “Wine of the Week” column a while back. A discussion ensued and I went on to mention that this particular winery had other wines, one of which was like a younger (different) sibling. The Avancia Cuvée de O Godello.
Much like an older sibling, 100% of the Old Vines is fermented and aged in French oak while the Cuvée de O has only 20% of its wine aged in French Oak. Sounds like the start of some rivalry already.
The discussion did get me thinking (boy that’s a hard habit to drop) (thinking not discussing). I knew how good the Old Vines was but to be fair (I’m all about that), I made the decision to try the Cuvée de O. Just so happens that the current release I found for the Cuvée happened to also be 2015! A little head-to-head sibling rivalry action here. So I grab some of the Cuvée and headed home.
Since this is more about the rivalry than my sometimes normal routine of giving you all the info regarding the wine and dinner, I’m going to keep this just about the wine.
First, I had to investigate what other reviewers had to say about the wines. From Wine Spectator, they score the wines even at 90 Points each. Next up was Wine Advocate. They gave a slight edge to the Old Vines with a score of 92 versus another 90 Points for the Cuvée. This is almost at tense as hearing the scores at a boxing match! I did say “ALMOST.” Last up was Vinous Media, once again, a slight edge to the Old Vines with a score of 92 Points and 91 to the Cuvée. For the mathematically inclined, or interested, that comes to an average score for the Old Vines of 91.3 and 90.3 for the Cuvée.
Of course, what really matters is “WHAT I THINK OF THE WINE.” At least for me.
So while the Cuvée chills, and for the record that applies to me as well living in this tundra called the Midwest, I wait and start to hammer out this post. In fact, this is about the time I can’t proceed until I have tasted the Cuvée and able to make my own decision. So please excuse the wait time.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick (my clock only ticks, no tocks).
Wow, that was a long wait. Sorry to make you lay in suspense for so long.
So the verdict? I did love the Cuvée; it was a little more citrus on both the nose and palate and did not have as much of the stone fruit quality and minerality of the Old Vines. I’m sure most of that is due to the difference in oak aging. I did find the Cuvée to be very nice, approachable, and a wine that I still had trouble putting down. It went very well with the dinner I planned as well.
Bottom line: I can wholeheartedly recommend both wines. For a nice crisp citrusy summer wine or for lighter food, go with the Cuvée, for richer meals, or if you like a bigger bodied white, especially similar to white Burgundies, opt for the Old Vines. Price is a factor as well with the Cuvée under $20 while the Old Vines should be around $30, it may also be a little harder to find.
For those math whizzes and score hungry wine geeks out there, I would concur on the 90 Point review for the Cuvée and give a slightly larger edge to the Old Vines at 93 Points. I like bigger styled wine in general.
As a quasi-parent to both, I would tell each that they are unique and both a happy and welcome addition to the wine world. How’s that for settling sibling rivalry and my parenting skills?
I couldn’t help myself; here’s a picture of dinner….