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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.
'Louro' is made from some of the youngest plots, but ones deemed to be age-worthy. There is always a small proportion of Treixadura in the wine which adds an extra floral character to the wine. A complex and powerful wine much like its big brother As Sortes, but with those extra floral, herby notes that the Treixadura provides, it has a wonderful mineral quality and a lively freshness.
- 93/100 Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate