Rafael Palacios, As Sortes Val do Bibei Godello


for the equivalent of £59.55 a bottle

Grower: Bodegas Rafael Palacios
Grape Variety: Godello
Style: Mineral and Complex
Country: Spain
Appellation: Galicia
Vintage: 2020/21
Closure: CORK
Alcohol: 14% ABV
Bottle Size: 75cl

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Straw yellow in colour with youthful highlights. The bouquet conveys a feeling of joy, aromatic intensity from the expression of acidity (grapefruit, pippin, wet boxwood, chestnut flower...), and rediscovers an attractive mineral touch. The palate brings fine, fresh and expressive notes of nuts, citrus and herbs, lively and ripe with pear, peach, citrus and some spice. Fine toasty notes, as well as apples. Lively, precise and intense. where the jovial part fades and the mineral notes come to the fore on the finish.

Any profile of Rafael Palacios inevitably leads to his family history. While being a scion of a famous winemaking family in Spain is an excellent way to get attention, it makes Rafa’s hard work and achievements seem fated or predetermined. If one were asked to rank the indispensable white wines from the old world, there would be very few on the list originating below 45º in latitude. Yet, only after a decade in Valdeorras, it is becoming apparent that Rafa can make wines from warmer climates that have the potential to rival Hermitage Blanc, Corton-Charlemagne, the Mosel, or the Wachau. As quaffable and enjoyable as Godello can be from Valdeorras, it rarely reaches the level of richness, balance, and complexity as it does in Rafael Palacios’s hands. Having left his family’s estate in Rioja in 2004, Rafa settled in the Val do Bibei, a rugged, weathered, and off-the-beaten-path sub-zone of Valdeorras. Bordering Ribera Sacra, the Val do Bibei is a tortured landscape of granitic, terraced slopes dotted with hard-to-reach and hard-to-farm vineyard plots. Whereas most of the rest of the DO is at a lower elevation with limestone and schist soils, Rafa works exclusively with Godello planted on granitic soils at much higher elevations.



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