Rafael Palacios As Sortes 2016

“Rafael keeps going from strength to strength with his range of Godello whites from Valdeorras.”Luis Gutierrez

Rafael’s wines were one of our best discoveries of last year and dozens of cases found new homes with our clients. Even if you weren’t among these lucky folks, you’ve probably drunk wine from Galicia before and you’ve possibly drunk Godello; but you’ve never had one like this.

Galicia is a typically complex wine region with five different “Denominacions de Orixe”: Monterei, Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro and Valdeorras. It has a variety of climates (Atlantic to Continental) and soil (granite to slate). One of the most interesting of these is Valdeorras, the easternmost wine region of Galicia, where the best vineyards are planted on terraces on the steep sides of the Sil river. Like many other wine regions in Spain, the area is being re-discovered by a new, young generation of talented winemakers, willing to make elegant wine with a sense of place. The two best in Valdeorras are Telmo Rodriguez and Rafael Palacios. Rafael grew up in a wine family and, having left the family estate in 2004, settled in the Val do Bibei part of Valdeorras, where he works with terraced plots of Godello which are locally known as “sorte”, some of which are 720 metres high. All the work in the vineyard as well as the harvest is honed by hand – crippling, but rewarding, work.

“It was Rafael Palacios, As Sortes Godello Valdeorras that first drew to my attention the obvious nobility of this grape variety that combines the structure of white burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape”Jancis Robinson

Made from a selection of the older vines of each plot, some of which are almost one hundred years old, this wine is a benchmark for Godello. Structure, complexity, intensity, character, freshness... it has it all. This wine is seriously good and at £30 a bottle IB it is hard to believe you will find a better white for the price... Luis Gutierrez has yet to review it in bottle but when tasting it from barrel he gave this comment “that slow ripening might have resulted in the finest vintage to date. I'm looking forward to tasting those wines in bottle!”

 

 

We were all very fortunateto taste a bottle today and it is delicious; in our opinion one of the best dry white wines from Spain!

  • Price: £340.00
  • Pack Size: 12 x 0.75L
  • Status: IB
  • Quantity: 40
  • ETA: July
Buy it!

Tasting Notes and Scores

Wine Advocate
95

As my tasting routine takes me to Valdeorras every 16 months or so, sometimes I have two vintages of the most relevant wines to taste side by side. Such was the case with the 2016 As Sortes, which I tasted next to the following 2017 vintage. 2016 was a slow-ripening year with a dry harvest that allowed for perfectly ripe grapes while maintaining very good levels of freshness. It fermented and matured in 500-liter oak barrels for some six to seven months. This has to be the finest vintage for As Sortes, and they seem to have been on a roll since 2012. The growing cycle was almost perfect and allowed for perfect ripeness of the grapes, which were harvested in the second half of October, very late (they finished on the 4th of November). The grapes achieved full flavors through slow ripening and kept the acidity. It has a sense of balance and symmetry with great precision and purity. There are subtle aromas of apricots and yellow plums and a twist of aromatic herbs intermixed with notes of wet granite. The palate has great intensity of flavors and is superbly balanced, long and tasty, with the signature saltiness on the finish. Luis Gutierrez

Jancis Robinson
18.5

Very deep straw, and quite a reticent nose but beautiful structure and firmness. This should go on and on. Seems to have taken extra intensity – much tighter than the average Puligny with which I am wont to compare it. Beautifully balanced and sophisticated. Serve with food. Bravissimo!

Jeb Dunnuck
95

From higher elevation, granitic and sandy soils in the Bibei Valley, the 2016 As Sortes is 100% Godello that spent seven months in 20% new 500-liter French oak. Made by the youngest of the nine children in the Palacios family, it's a seriously impressive wine that has depth, balance and class, offering white flowers, citrus, salty minerality, white peach and hints of Meyer lemon. Rich, nicely concentrated, balanced and beautifully layered on the palate, with building richness, it's unquestionably the finest Godello I’ve ever tasted and well worth seeking out. - jebdunnuck.com, February 2018

Previous Recommendations

Glenfarclas 1989-2002 Trilogy Collection
Krug Grande Cuvée Edition 167
NEW RELEASE
Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2011
Utter Bargain - new Prado Enea release
Niepoort Vintage Port 2017
"Possibly our finest since 1945"
Tomatin Warehouse 6 Collection: 1975
One of Scotland’s Unsung Heroes
Bollinger La Grande Annee 2008
"A regal and heroic Bollinger" - RJ
Akitu Pinot Noir 2016
Our Favourite New Kiwi Pinot
2005 Imperial Gran Reserva in Jero
95 Point Ex-Bodega Release
Dom Ruinart 2007
'A Stunning Champagne'
2015 Galia Villages
95pt Spanish Bargain
A Festive BI Single Malt Treat
Tomatin 2009 1st Fill Sherry Cask
Vina del Olivo, Contino 2016
Incredible Single Vineyard Rioja
NEW RELEASE: Clarendelle Rouge 2014
By Haut Brion
The Mascot 2013
Baby Harlan, Promontory and BOND
CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2011
96pt Gran Reserva Rioja to rival the 1953
Clos des Goisses 2009
NEW RELEASE
Rafael Palacios As Sortes 2016
'The finest vintage to date'
Henriot Blanc de Blancs Jeroboam
2008 base year Champagne
Vina Real Gran Reserva 2011
97pt Gran Reserva Rioja Royalty
Chateau Grand Village 2010
A Bordeaux Bargain
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV
Baby Cristal - £280 per 12 IB
Les Fillottes 2015
Baby VCC just £220 per 6!
"Vina Ardanza" La Rioja Alta 2009
95Pts for under £16 a bottle!
Ch Arton Armagnac La Reserve
France’s Best Eaux de Vie
La Chenade 2014
Phenomenal value from Denis Durantou
Haut Bergey 2002
Silver Oak Alexandra Valley 2013
CNDP Cuvee VV La Janasse 2015
“The 2015 is a tour de force" RP
Clarendelle Rouge 2012 (Haut Brion)
Second Coming: £145 per Jero!
The Greatest Ever Muga ‘Prado Enea’
UK Exclusivity
Esprit de Pavie 2011
Baby Brother of Chateau Pavie
Clos Apalta 2014
Awarded 100 points by James Suckling
Leroy Bourgogne Blanc 2015
Your favourite House White is Back
Lopez de Heredia
The Pioneer of Rioja
Orma 2014
"Challenger to Sassicaia and Ornellaia"
Zarate Albarino Balado Vineyard 2015
Sun in a Bottle
Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge 1989
The World’s Best Calvados - Made Better
Vina Ardanza La Rioja Alta 2008
94 Points for under £15 a bottle!
Get ready to Rock out the Rose
Rock Angel Rose from Esclans
Latour 2005 Ex-Chateau
"a spectacular effort" 98pts RP
BI BARGAIN: Clos L’Eglise 2006
One of the last vintages of a fine estate
NEW RELEASE: Pol Roger 2008
"Admirably long. Really exciting." 18/20 JR
NEW: Single Cask 1979 Rum
Exclusive Bottling Only at BI
BARGAIN BURGUNDY 2015
Outstanding Bourgogne Rouge from Leroy
NEW: Imperial Gran Reserva 2010
"A very good vintage for this bottling."
Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage 2010
"the best buy in the Northern Rhone"
DON'T MISS! Jadot Clos Vougeot 2015
"a Clos Vougeot that will go the distance"
TOP TIP: Guigal La Doriane 2015
Under 1200 cases produced in 2015!
Bollinger La Grande Annee 2007
"One of the three best from this vintage"
Krug Grande Cuvee
The Latest Innovation from Krug
BARGAIN RHONE: Vieux Donjon 2015
"the top of the heap" JD
Latour 2007 Ex-Chateau
"a fine Latour" (NM)
Best Buy: Haut-Brion 1999
"style only Haut-Brion appears capable" RP
NAPA LEGEND Clos du Val 2013
"a real head turner" AG
Clarendelle Blanc 2015 (Haut-Brion)
Without doubt the bargain of the vintage!
Casa Castillo Pie Franco 2010 – 95 Pts
"world-class wines from Spain" LG
Exclusive Hine 1986 Vintage Cognac
Released for H.M. The Queen’s 90th
Drouin 2000 Early Landed Calvados
A dangerously delicious piece of history
NEW Vin de Constance 2012
The Very Pinnacle of South Africa
Latour 2000 & Forts 2009 (2016 Release)
"truly great wines" JS
Cambon La Pelouse 2000
"equivalent to many classified growths" RP