2020 Rafael Palacios As Sortes Magnum
|Type of Wine||White|
|Content (Alc)||1.5 ltr (14%)|
|Drink window||2021 - 2028|
Rafael Palacios, brother of famous winemaker Alvaro Palacios from Priorat, started making wine in 2004 in Valdeorras. He bought old vineyards with godello grapes from local farmers. All 22.5 hectares of the company are planted with this grape, spread over 26 vineyards. The age of the vines ranges from 7 to 91 years old. All the plots are biologically cultivated. He does his best plots: Sorte O Soro, Sorte Antiga and Os Canieros entirely in biodynamics. The name of the wine As Sortes is Galician for the 'erfloten'. After all, the Galician inheritance system is structured in such a way that every child gets an equal share of a piece of land, in this way the vineyards are of course incredibly fragmented and everyone gets a 'sorte' or inheritance. It often happens that a vineyard of 1 ha is divided into 10 different heirlooms or 'sortes'. The plural As Sortes are many heirlooms together in one wine. Rafa has his vineyards in Santa Cruz do Bolo, where the soil is different from the rest in Valdeorras. The soil here is completely granite, with an upper texture of coarse sand grains coming from the eroded granite. The granite here is composed of feldspar, mica and quartz. Especially the quartz, a mineral of crystallized silicon, gives a mineral and salty character to the wines. The pluviometrics are high, which means that the soils have a very low pH and therefore a very high acidity. All the 'sortes' have the same bottoms, with only the texture and size of the grains varying. The altitude varies from 650 to 720 m.
What Rafa attaches great importance to is the selective harvest of each plot, just so as not to lose the unique character of the different plots. The grapes are placed on the selection table at harvest. A cold maceration and the greatest possible protection against oxidation are other techniques he uses in order not to lose quality. The use of foeders is very important. Rafa selects the oak from northern French forests: the colder the forest, the less aromatic the wood, more neutral and with better oxygenation for the élevage sur lies. The wood has been lightly toasted, over many hours with very low heat to open the pores of the barrique, but so that it is not marked by smoke or torrefaction flavours. He does Bâtonnage less than before, as he notices that the wines lose character and personality by using the yeast cells too much. The As Sortes is fermented in large wooden casks of 500 liters for a good month, after which the wine is aged in the same vats for 6 months.
Fresh, clean and complex, the As Sortes is very different from other white wines from the Valdeorras. In the nose we smell notes of yellow fruit, citrus and spices accentuated by creamy accents and just a hint of smoke. The taste is medium-bodied with very good acidity, full and spicy but fresh and smooth at the same time. The aftertaste is somewhat salty and mineral and lasts a long time in the mouth. A maximum of 15,000 bottles of the As Sortes are produced (only) and is an absolute must for those who are a bit Chardonnay tired. The wine has a nice drinking window until at least 2028+.
|Type of Wine||White|
|Drinking as of||2021|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Fresh, Fruity, Mineral, Tense, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Borrelen, Cadeau!, Met vrienden, Summer party, Terras, Voor alledag|
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