2019 Rafael Palacios Louro

93
RP
As low as $25.99
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Product ID
2019-rafael-palacios-louro
 

Wine Critic Reviews for 2019 Rafael Palacios Louro

I had already tasted the 2019 Louro, but I tasted it again next to the other wines from 2019 and the whole 2020 vintage for context. It has to be the finest Louro to date, from one of the finest vintages for Palacios. It fermented in 3,500-liter oak foudres, where the wine matured with lees for four months. It's not a shy white at 14% alcohol, but the low pH (3.19) and high acidity (6.75 grams of tartaric acid per liter) mean a lot of freshness and therefore good balance. This always has a small percentage of Treixadura, around 4% this year, and in 2019, Treixadura reached 14% alcohol. Treixadura is a very aromatic and balsamic grape, and that small percentage is clearly noticeable in the aromatics, which gives Louro a very different profile from AS Sortes, more herbal and balsamic. The wine shows the freshness from the year and a salty finish coupled with the electricity from the granite. Delicious. It's evolving very slowly. 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled during April and May 2020.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP
Smokey, wood fire aromas. Elegant, creamy, and intense with lots of yellow fruit and black pepper, green chillies on finish. Elegant for drinking young, could develop a little further. (Drink between 2021-2024)

Decanter | 92 DEC

Wine Details on 2019 Rafael Palacios Louro

More Information
Producer Rafael Palacios
Region Spain: Spain is home to some absolutely masterfully crafted wines. Their culture gets romanticized in many works of prose, and it's easy to see where the appeal lies. The wines serve as an extension of that culture and stand among the tallest titans in the world. With powerhouse varietals like Airen, Tempranillo and Grenache brought to their full potential, these bottles hold a unique appeal without sacrificing what makes wine approachable and popular.

Imagine an inspirational guitar performance. The artist's fingers are darting around accurately, and it's hard to keep track of all his hand movements. All you know is that he is making the strings dance vivaciously and produce a veritable symphony of intricately woven notes, each note adding something unique and pleasant to the overall composition. That's what sampling a Spanish wine is like. The wines are fresh, possessing an intense yet elegant fruitiness to them that feels like you're enjoying a healthy bowl of fruit salad on the side. Whatever your preference may be, Spanish wines are an essential, unmissable part of wine culture. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped out on these amazing drinks, which is why we've arranged a selection of only the finest wines Spain has to offer.
Subregion Valdeorros
Appellation Paraje Altamira
Climat/Vineyard Les Dames de Vergy
Cru Grand Cru
Country Spain: Great wines tell a story of not just the soil they come from, but the people whose hands did all the work. Spain is an incredibly rich and important country when it comes to wine, with plenty of stories to tell. Whether you're a fan of the wonderful Tempranillo varietal or you prefer a touch of classy white Albarino, Spain offers something for everyone. It's a joy to immerse yourself in the culture and explore all the diverse styles and blends. If this sounds appealing to you, then you should treat yourself to at least one of Spain's finest wines, and lose yourself in its complexities. You will almost certainly walk away from that experience with your passion for wine set ablaze like never before.
Type of Wine Spain White: Spanish white wines are as outstanding as the red ones. Plenty of grape varieties planted in Spain have Spanish origin, such as Verdejo or Godello, as well as the crispy Albarino with its powerful aromas. Palomino, Airen, and Albillo are also commonly used in different blends, with Albillo being prevalent in Madrid.
Varietal Godello: There is a special allure to wines produced from indigenous grapes in their native terroir. It’s not just a region’s climate, soil composition, proximity to water, and vineyard aspect that ultimately express terroir in a finished wine. It’s also the relationship of all of those elements to the varieties of a particular area themselves, which have adapted and evolved specifically to its conditions.  This magical symbiosis manifests the truest expression of the grape’s existence.  This is especially true for the Godello grape variety, which has inhabited the Galician area of northwestern Spain for centuries.

The history of the Godello grape is somewhat unclear, though it was first referenced in 1531 under the name “Agudelho” in the Douro, Portugal.  Despite this early Portuguese historical inclusion, many historians believe that Godello originated in Galicia and that the variety is as ancient as the region itself.  Just north of Portugal, in the most inland section of Galicia is the appellation of Valdeorras and where the greatest success has been seen.  This development has led to a steady increase in plantings of the varietal; these plantings and all existing vines are vital to the survival of the Godello Grape.  It had an unfortunate brush with extinction in the 20th century, declining to a mere 100 hectares at one point.  Mercifully, the varietal is experiencing a revival, thanks to the heroic efforts of local vintners in Galicia to guard and protect the ancient variety and their heritage.

Today, there are approximately 1,000 hectares of Godello under vine in Galicia, where it thrives in mineral-laden terroir.  The varietal expresses its appreciation of its many attributes by introducing the qualities of the soil through the wine itself.  The Galician terroir is mineral rich, ranging from granite to slate soils.  The climate is very wet with an oceanic influence from the Atlantic, which lends salinity to the wines produced.  General characteristics of the wines produced are fresh, crisp acidity, balance, bright fruit and moderate alcohol levels.  The wine delivers mouth-watering, briny-grapefruit, lemon zest, quince, crushed gravel, salinity (compliments of the Atlantic Ocean) and smoked minerality, with aromas of fresh cut grass and wet stone.  In the best wines, there is a haunting minerality that becomes imprinted on the drinker’s palate. 

Godello is known to be quite versatile and has been used as a blending agent with other Spanish white varietals for centuries.  The first varietal example was produced in the 1980s; this trend has become a popular style today, with more vintners vinifying unique bottlings.  Many producers are now using native yeast, which provides another layer of diversity that separates the wines of one grower from those of another.

In the vineyard, Godello is characterized by its small-sized berries that are green in color and covered in a sheen protective layer of silvery bloom (waxy substance).  The berries grow in closely packed, small bunches.  The grapes are sensitive to fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and bunch rot so great care and attention is imperative for health and vitality during the growing season. 

Just south of Spain, in the country of Portugal, Godello is seeing a passionate revival as well.  The varietal is and has been incredibly important to the culture and national heritage.  Massive plantings have been implemented in the last few decades as a collective attempt by vintners to rescue the varietal from extinction.  There are currently around 1,000 hectares under vine in Portugal, where the varietal is not only successful, but beloved.  Much like Galicia, the Douro appellation is mineral and nutrient rich, with a terroir comprised of slate-like metamorphic rock and schist with useful water retention properties.  Godello plays an important part as a blending partner with other indigenous white grape varieties.

The terroir-driven Godello grape produces wines with an appeal that goes far beyond the palates of dedicated terroiristas.  They are attractive to just about anyone who loves great white wines, especially lovers of Chardonnay.  It is bold claim; however when the wines are aged in oak, they become richly textured and very reminiscent of Chardonnay.  MW (Master of Wine) Jancis Robinson has stated, “Godello combines the structure of white Burgundy with the finesse of a juicily mineral grape.”  Spain and Portugal have helped to save this tremendous variety which unfortunately, is still under-the-radar by the larger consumer base, but is threatening to be exposed on a grander, world-wide level.

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