Rafael Palacios is the brother of Spain’s leading winemaker and BBR stalwart Alvaro Palacios. Rafael has headed to the green north-west Atlantic influenced vines of the DO of Valdeoras, which is located windward of Rueda, not too far to the north of the Portugal border and the River Miño.
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.
The wine is both vinified and matured in foudre (3000 litres) imported from Normandy; this allows an aromatic and textural complexity rare in more prosaic stainless steel examples. 2011, as elsewhere in Europe, witnessed an early vinous cycle in Valdeoras, with an unseasonably cold summer slowing the process back down to more normal timings and the now habitual hot September weather ensuring a successful harvest and engendering a richer and riper wine than its immediate forebear.
Yellow-green of hue, the wine has an indulgent nose of hazelnut, guava, pear-skin and hints of mango. Quietly if not totally tropical, with its indulgent foretaste confirmed on the palate, the wine has a gently leesy undercurrent and a lick of sour honey at the back of the mouth.
(Simon Field MW, BBR Wine Buyer)Bodegas Rafael Palacios
I have a new enthusiasm – beautifully balanced fine whites from the local Godello grape grown inland of Rias Baixas. The distinguishing feature of Rafael Palacios Valdeorras is not just the vineyards so painstakingly acquired, but the maniacal gleam in his eye which translates into almost obsessive winemaking detail.
His basic Bolo wines, named after a local village, may be made in stainless steel using selected yeast, which can be found for less than £15 a bottle, is fermented in special 3,000-litre foudres made with Norman oak. The sheer class of the 2011 vintage was clear. I urge you to buy some. There is no hurry to drink it.
Jancis Robinson - Waiting for Godello - Financial Times 22nd February 2013
Minerally nose and lovely firm but smooth texture. Smoky finish. Really impressive. So complete and everything is so in balance.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 17 July 2012