2016 Rafael Palacios "As Sortes" Godello Valdeorras, Spain

SKU #1419489 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As my tasting routine takes me to Valdeorras every 16 months or so, sometimes I have two vintages of the most relevant wines to taste side by side. Such was the case with the 2016 As Sortes, which I tasted next to the following 2017 vintage. 2016 was a slow-ripening year with a dry harvest that allowed for perfectly ripe grapes while maintaining very good levels of freshness. It fermented and matured in 500-liter oak barrels for some six to seven months. This has to be the finest vintage for As Sortes, and they seem to have been on a roll since 2012. The growing cycle was almost perfect and allowed for perfect ripeness of the grapes, which were harvested in the second half of October, very late (they finished on the 4th of November). The grapes achieved full flavors through slow ripening and kept the acidity. It has a sense of balance and symmetry with great precision and purity. There are subtle aromas of apricots and yellow plums and a twist of aromatic herbs intermixed with notes of wet granite. The palate has great intensity of flavors and is superbly balanced, long and tasty, with the signature saltiness on the finish. 32,000 bottles were filled in July 2017. (LG)  (2/2019)

K&L Notes

I found the wines to be very pure, serious and a little closed and reticent, as they took time to open up in the glass and evolve very slowly. They seem to have gained precision in the last few years, and they reckon it's through viticulture, working organically and removing all the chemicals that had been used in the vineyards before they took them over. They have not really reduced the amount of oak, but it feels much better integrated. They have also been able to reduce the amount of sulfur used on the vines. This is one of the best white wine-only projects in Spain. Wine Advocate Luis Guiterrez

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Price: $39.99

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By: Sean Reilly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/24/2019 | Send Email
Hand harvested from sandy gravel soil, this certified organic wine has lemon zest and crushed gravel aromas. It possesses refreshing and well-balanced acidity. A welcome companion to spicy cuisines.
Drink from 2019 to 2024

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/21/2019 | Send Email
This is a wine that will make you sit up and pay attention. It somehow reminds me of some of the finest Chenin Blancs I have tasted from South Africa...maybe it's the decomposed granite soils and pronounced minerality the regions both express...Golden, ripe stone fruit, stone ground flour, freshly baked bread. Tingling acidity laced with stony minerals. A finish that goes on and on...real sneaky persistence on the palate. A complex and layered white wine that I found quite compelling.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/20/2019 | Send Email
As Sortes is named after the local term for vineyard plot, “sorte”. Since the early 2000’s Rafael has been acquiring and working with 32 individual plots. This bottling comes from organically grown older vines, 35-90+ years old, some sortes are over 700 meters in elevation. Fermented and aged in 500L French oak barrels with a small percentage being new, this wine is intense. It is mouth-filling and focused, it is concentrated and fine with pure golden fruit, a modest aromatic component and a crazy long finish, it goes and goes and mineral and fruit tones seem to gain intensity as it finishes. This is his Grand Cru bottling and this carries and exceeded all of what that comparison brings with it.

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