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Rafael Palacios Louro 2019

Rafael Palacios Louro 2019

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"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. 180,000 bottles produced. It was bottled between April and May 2020 from a single master blend. Drink: 2020-2025. 93 points

Rafa Palacios was hit by frost in 2017, so he couldn't produce the single-vineyard bottlings, Sorte Antiga and O Soro, and the 2018s were not ready. So, I only had a couple of wines to taste this time. He now has 28 separate plots that make up 24.5 hectares of vineyards and produces around 300,000 bottles."

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (06/20)