About this WINE
Rafael Palacios is the brother of Spain’s leading winemaker and Berry Bros. & Rudd stalwart 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 in 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 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. He puts a particular emphasis on the practice of using organic treaments and biodynamic agriculture.
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.
Godello is the flagship grape of Valdeorras, and it thrives in the region's conditions. Wines made from Godello are often aromatic, elegant, and expressive. They can display a range of flavours, including citrus fruits, stone fruits, floral notes, and a touch of minerality. Godello wines from Valdeorras are typically crisp, refreshing, and well-balanced.
Apart from Godello, Valdeorras produces red wines, predominantly from the Mencía grape variety. These red wines can exhibit bright red fruit flavours, floral and herbal notes, and a vibrant acidity that adds freshness to the wines.
The winemakers of Valdeorras take pride in their commitment to quality and their focus on sustainable viticulture. Many vineyards in the region are cultivated using organic or biodynamic practices, reflecting a growing trend toward environmentally friendly winemaking.
In addition to Godello and Mencía, Valdeorras can produce wines using grape varieties such as Doña Blanca, Palomino, and Merenzao (also known as Bastardo). However, Godello remains the region's star and has helped Valdeorras gain recognition in Spain and internationally.
Godello is a white grape variety primarily found in northwest Spain and northern Portugal. The grape is capable of producing very fine white wines, and it is in the Valdeorras region that its greatest successes are seen, leading to a steady increase in plantings there. Bodegas Rafael Palacios (managed by the brother of Spain’s leading winemaker Alvaro Palacios) has been the driving force behind the revival of the grape.
In Jancis Robinson MW words' "Godello combines the structure of white burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape".