Louro Godello, Rafael Palacios, Galicia, Spain 2017

Louro Rafael Palacios.jpg
Louro Rafael Palacios.jpg

Louro Godello, Rafael Palacios, Galicia, Spain 2017


“It’s a bottle that, bang for buck, is among the most exciting white wines on the planet right now and blows the refreshment scale into a whole new dimension.” - Olly Smith

“Here's a wine that out-Pulignys Puligny.” - Jancis Robinson MW

“Overdelivers for its price.“ - The Wine Advocate

It's hard to imagine a more passionate winemaker than Rafael Palacios and that is stated in the full knowledge that passionate winemakers are a dime a dozen. And by passion, I don’t mean the sort of histrionic, arm-waving braggadocio of Bruno Tonioni after a triple espresso, I mean genuine devotion and commitment to the land he toils and the grapes he grows. When we visited he didn't just want to show us the vineyards, he didn't just want us to feel the soil in our hands, he wanted us to smell the soil. Cupping the dry earth in his hands like a religious offering, he encouraged us to inhale and “breathe in the terroir”. He loves this precious plot in Valdeorras and you can see why, it's one of the most spectacular regions in Spain, with terraced vineyards tumbling down to the river below and to enhance the experience we were treated to a glass of this delightful Godello in situ with some grilled octopus cooked on the spot by the local fisherman, Señor Pulpo (Mr Octopus). It's hard not to be seduced by an experience like that and overrate a wine, but we try to keep our objectivity switched on at all times and if there’s anything negative to be said about this wine, it would be that it's not the most complex, but what it lacks in layers it makes up for in its amazing energy and precision and mineral-inflected purity (‘vertical’ is the latest buzzword for wines like this), with lime and quince flavours, a touch of hay, a drizzle of fresh cream and a light nuttiness from the lees-ageing in barrel. It’s a great alternative to the sort of dinner party white wine you would normally place on a white linen tablecloth, and should be enjoyed while it's young and vibrant like a chiselled Chablis or a white Burgundy. 13.5% alc. Drink now-2022.

Press reviews:

Jancis Robinson MW:
“Here's a wine that out-Pulignys Puligny. The great Godello grape, and slate soils, of Galicia – not to mention the gifted Rafa Palacios – are responsible for this marvel. Such freshness and direction with a minerally spine. This introductory level wine is as good as the first few vintages of As Sortes, the original top wine. Excellent value in an international context.”

The Wine Advocate: “The entry-level 2017 Louro was cropped from an unusual year marked by frost that reduced the crop by some 40%. It's a blend of Godello with around 8% Treixadura with good ripeness, concentration, power and acidity, managing a considerable alcoholic degree with low pH and notable acidity. It fermented in 3,000-litre oak foudres, where it was kept with the fine lees for four months. This is a great wine, perhaps not as long lived as As Sortes, because the vineyards are not as high in altitude and have a little more clay in the soils. It's a little more varietal in character but also marked by the soils, especially on the finish. It's very expressive early on. It's not a banal wine—it's serious, clean, balanced and concentrated, ripe without excess, expressive, aromatic and open. It has intense, pungent flavors with a saline, tasty twist I often find in wines from granite. It combines power with balance. This overdelivers for its price.“ 92 points

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Farming: organic (certified), biodynamic