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Rafael Palacios’ Glorious Godello – 2019 Vintage Just Released!

2019 Louro do Bolo Godello, DO Valdeorras, Bodegas Rafael Palacios

“Stunning, incredible, poised, approachable, delicious – I could use any of these words to describe this new release by Spain’s greatest white wine producer” Jonny Wren, Songbird in Chief

Rafael Palacios gained the reputation as Spain’s greatest producer of white wine with his universally acclaimed Sorte O Soro, a wine that has achieved the highest score ever (99 points) from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate by a Spanish white wine. However, at £150 a bottle you’d expect it to be pretty decent and “the stuff dreams are made of” to quote the reviewer. But don’t despair, Rafa also makes other outstanding wines, As Sortes* – a selection of the best Godello grapes from single vineyards, and Louro do Bolo which offers exceptional value.

Rafa started his project in 2004 in the then little known region of Valdeorras, home of a few ancient plots of Godello vines. This grape variety was virtually extinct in Spain but Rafa and a few others realised its potential and extensive replanting of the variety began.

It was the following decade that the white wines of this region started to make waves in the international wine scene. This was mainly due to the elegance and finesse they possess that are reminiscent of great white Burgundy such as Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet, but at a fraction of the price. One of the earliest champions of Rafa was Jancis Robinson MW who has always singled Louro do Bolo out as excellent value and recently called it “the wine that out Pulignys Puligny.” I have been a devotee of this wine since the 2016 vintage so I was delighted to receive a sample last week of the just released 2019. Stunning, incredible, poised, approachable, delicious – any of these could be a one word description of this new release by Spain’s greatest white wine producer and my full tasting note is below.

2019 Louro do Bolo Godello, DO Valdeorras, Bodegas Rafael Palacios @ £18.75 a bottle

“A blend of 92% Godello and 8% Treixadura and from vines 20-40 years old. Aged for around four months on its lees in foudres (very large French oak barrels). The first thing to astound me about the 2019 was the immediate intensity of its bouquet. From the off it displayed its finesse and class.  Poised with aromas of orange blossom, nectarine and hints of banana and vanilla. Lovely and pure on the palate with stone fruit, green apple and that wonderful minerality. Ripe but elegant and totally delicious.” JW

I decanted it later and the wine opened up even more –  it was superb with barbecued fresh mackerel. So it is delicious now but will get even better with a few more months in bottle and will continue to drink beautifully for the next 3-5 years. This offer price is a saving of £10 per case compared to the 2018 so I suggest you take full advantage of it if you have the space to cellar a case or two. White wine at this price doesn’t get much better than this!

Also available…

*I have a tiny allocation of 2017 As Sortes which is available at £45 a bottle, here is its review from Wine Advocate from November 2018 – “Very fresh, with crystalline purity, poised, elegant and nuanced. I am truly impressed by this 2017 which feels very young and underdeveloped but with great potential. Truly impressive.” 94 points, Wine Advocate


Jonny Wren


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