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2019 ‘Sorte Antiga’ Godello, Rafael Palacios, DO Valdeorras

Original price was: £150.75.Current price is: £129.75. inc. VAT

Since starting his own winery in 2004, Rafael Palacios has fast become one of Spain’s pre-eminent producers of white wine. His 32 parcels of Godello, which are spread over 19.5 hectares in the Val do Bibei in Valdeorras, Galicia, produce some of Spain’s most interesting (and most sought after) white wines. The vines are planted on steep hills turned into terraces buttressed by stones. Rafa’s viticulture is sensitive to the fragile nature of these old terraces, and he has adapted his approach to ensure these magnificent structures are preserved. His viticulture is low intervention, with some of the older plots (or ‘sortes’ in Galician) being farmed biodynamically.

The ’Sorte Antiga’ is sourced from a single vineyard, located in the heart of the Bibei Valley. The 0.24 ha parcel of bush vine Godello was planted in 1920, making it the oldest and most unique vineyard owned by Rafael Palacios, as its name suggests. The site’s northerly aspect and high altitude (680 metres above sea level), slows ripening and contributes to the wine’s complex aromatics and bracing acidity. The shallow soils are decomposed granite and sandy in texture. A covering of straw is used to protect the topsoil, enrich its organic matter and retain water. Planting density is very low. The vines’ age and poor soils ensure low yields of intensely flavoured grapes that mature very well, imparting rich texture in the wine. The site is farmed biodynamically.

‘Sorte Antiga’ is vinified traditionally with fermentation taking place on its skins and in open oak vats using indigenous yeasts, to enhance the Godello’s rich texture and aromatic complexity. Fermentation is followed by a gentle and quick press. The wine is then aged for 12 months on its fine lees in fourth fill French oak barrels.

This is a truly distinctive wine, reminiscent of traditional ‘brisado’ (orange) wines. On the palate, the wine expertly balances concentrated fruit perfume with pithy texture and grip. The finish is long and complex, tempered by a refreshing saltiness and electric acidity.


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