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Rafael Palacios, Louro Godello 2019
Rafael Palacios' exemplary old vine Godello from Valdeorras - ripe apples and a hint of blossom honey , creamy texture and mineral finish -delicious stuff . From mature vineyards in the O Bolo valley . The kind of white to have with roast pork or a fish pie.
Louro is a blend of Godello with a small amount of Treixadura from parcels located in the villages of Chandoiro, Lentellais, Outardepregos and Santa Cruz. After decades of conventional farming, the organic practices of Rafa have begun to revitalize the soils of these sites and Louro is becoming more complex with each vintage. Louro is fermented in French oak foudres and aged on its lees for four months. Up to 10% of the blend in Louro will be Treixadura, a variety that can be found co-planted in Rafa's sortes.
Rafael Palacios is the brother of one of Spain's leading winemakers, Alvaro Palacios. It should come as no surprise that the family genius, enthusiasm and attention to detail is also evidenced in Rafael's wines. Whereas the Palacios family made its name Rioja, and Alvaro has subsequently achieved world-wide recognition for his vineyards in the appellation of Priorat and (latterly) Bierzo, Rafael has headed to the green north-west Atlantic-influenced vines of the DO of Valdeorras, which is located windward of Rueda, not too far to the north of the Portuguese border and the River Mino. The jewel here is the white variety Godello, which is now achieving recognition similar to that latterly afforded to Albarino and Verdejo. Sandy soils with granite substratum allied to historical terraced vineyards add up to hard work, small yields and a concomitant high level of quality. Rafa works with over 20 tiny parcels scattered around the region, with vines ranging up to almost 100 years in age. He currently makes two wines: Louro do Bolo, his lighter, entry-level expression, and As Sortes, which offers a step up in quality. Both are blindingly delicious, textural whites.