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 white wines. The vines cohabit with the rocks and stones that define the landscape. Sandy soils, derived from decomposed granite, limit vine vigour and the high altitudes (from 580 to 720 metres above sea level) ensure marked diurnal variation and a long growing season.
The hills are so steep that most of the vineyards are planted on 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 ‘Louro do Bolo’ is made from small parcels of Godello with an average age of 25 years, grown at over 600 metres above sea level. These parcels are located in the municipality of O Bolo and planted on sandy granitic soils and sandy soils with clay deposits. These sandy soils limit vine vigour and the high altitude ensures marked diurnal variation and a long growing season.
The grapes were pressed and the must was fermented in 35 hectolitre French oak foudres. After fermentation the wine was then aged on lees for four months prior to bottling.
The 'Louro' is a straw colour with youthful highlights. It has intense aromas of citrus fruits, wild mountain flowers, hints of fennel and flinty nuances. On the palate, it is fruit-forward supported by a taut, saline minerality and a textural complexity.
Could this be one of the ultimate Paella wines?