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: 1
- ETA: July
Tasting Notes and Scores
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
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!
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