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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 and off-the-beaten-path sub-zone of Valdeorras. The Val do Bibei is a tortured landscape of granitic, terraced slopes dotted with hard-to-reach and hard-to-farm vineyard plots. Rafa works exclusively with Godello planted on granitic soils at much higher elevations – so high that late Spring snow and frost are ever-present dangers to his already low yields. Rafa works 32 plots , known locally as Sorte, by hand where some of the oldest vines are nearing a century in age.
'As Sortes' is made from sorte that are the oldest of the plots Rafa works. This wine is almost burgundian in character. A super serious wine, with great mineral austerity and a wonderfully integrated oak. This is a wine of precision and purity.
- 95/100 Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate