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Rafael Palacios Louro 2019

Rafael Palacios

Regular price $23.99

2019 Louro 93ptsWA
Rafael Palacios
Valdeorras, Gallicia, Spain

About 95% Godello, 5% Treixadura
Vine Age:
 20-40+ years of age
Site/Elevation: Granite steep slopes, some terracing, rugged and hard rock at 650-740 meters (2,100-2,200 feet)
Soils: Granite, decomposed sandy granitic
Viticulture: Converting to certified organic
Aging:  4 months in 3,500L French oak foudre

93 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate
The 2019 Louro comes from a vintage that Rafa Palacios compares with 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016, the best vintages for him. The vines are on sandy granite soils, but there are some vineyards where there's a little more clay, and the vines are worked organically. It fermented in 3,500-liter oak foudres, where the wine matured with lees for four months. It always has a small percentage of Treixadura, around 4% this year, and in 2019, it reached 14% alcohol, so it's not a shy wine. It might seem incredible, but 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 the AS Sortes, with a more herbal and balsamic touch. But Palacios tells me that's the freshness of the year (Godello can also be herbal), as they have regrafted a lot of Treixadura. In 2019, there is less Treixadura than in previous years, and there's only one hectare of Treixadura left in his vineyards. The wine does have very good freshness, plus a very salty finish and the granite sensation that gives it an electric touch, complex, powerful and with a profile of a serious wine with very little bitterness; Palacios says it reminds him of the 2005 As Sortes. This has to be one of the best vintages of Louro, a clear step up from previous vintages.

Louro is a blend of mostly Godello (90-95%) with a small amount of Treixadura (5-10%).  After decades of conventional farming, the organic practices of Rafael have begun to revitalize the soils of these sites and Louro is becoming more complex with each vintage.  2019 is probably the best vintage of this killer value yet!  Louro is fermented in French oak foudres and aged on its lees for four months. Up to 10% of the blend in Louro will be Treixadura, a variety that can be found co-planted in Rafa’s sortes, but with recently grafting over and replanting to Godello, the amount of Treixadura has decreased.

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