Louro de Bolo, Rafael Palacios
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 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.
This really is one of my favourite white wines! It’s made from small parcels of Godello with an average age of 25 years, grown at over 600 metres above sea level. The must is fermented in 35 hectolitre French oak foudres, after which the wine is aged on lees for four months before bottling. The wine has a lovely flinty character on the nose that gives way to a fresh note of wild mountain flowers. On the palate, it has a taut, saline fruit with a gorgeous textural complexity.
When pairing with food, think the same as with Premier Cru Chablis, classic fish dishes, shellfish with garlic butter, that sort of thing.
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