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  • Rafael Palacios As Sortes 2020

    £49.99

    “As with the other wines, I also tasted the 2020 As Sortes next to the 2019. The vineyards and process were the same, native fermentation in 500-liter French oak barrels, where the wine matured with fine lees for eight months. But 2020 is riper than 2019 (14.4% vs 14%), and it also has a lower pH and higher acidity. Like the Louro, this feels closed, primary and a little reductive at first. It took time in the glass to open up. The vineyards here are able to cushion the effect of the vintage, and the viticulture they have been doing (organic and biodynamic) makes for concentrated wines that are also more closed early on and then need more time in bottle. The palate references a very mineral wine with a powerful mineral strike. It improved tremendously in the glass over the course of a couple of hours. 18,500 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2021. Drink: 2023-2030. 95+ points

    I tasted the 2019s and 2020s from Rafa Palacios in Valdeorras. For him, these are two very good years. 2019 had a mild and dry winter and a rainy and cold spring that delayed budding, followed by a mild summer with fewer hours of sunshine, which meant a delay in the ripening process. Harvest was more than one month later than usual, and the grapes achieved very slow ripening and full development of aromas and flavors while keeping the acidity. The harvest started in October and finished in November. It’s a beautiful, homogeneous vintage with very good wines.

    2020 saw a moderately cool and rainy winter and a dry and cold spring that resulted in 20% less bunches than in 2019. The summer was also quite dry but, fortunately, not too hot. Given the low yields, maturation was accelerated, and the harvest began at the beginning of September for Louro and from September 25th for As Sortes. Given the scarce water, the plants had to work harder deep down into the soil, which marked the wines; the silica and quartz from the sandy soils of O Bolo shaped a saline identity and the wines achieved a lot of elegance and balance. It’s a more heterogeneous vintage, and the higher-altitude vineyards behaved better. The 2020 O Soro is out of this world.

    He gave me a quick preview of the very cold 2021, a vin de garde vintage but a challenging year with a lot of rain. They are in the process of certifying their vineyards (organic and biodynamic), but they have some problems in the vineyards with neighbors who are not organic, so it will probably be faster for O Soro and Sorte Antiga.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (259)

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  • Telmo Rodriguez As Caborcas 2017

    £54.99

    “As Caborcas is a north-facing vineyard planted a long time ago with a field blend that was used to produce the 2017 As Caborcas red, which has moderate alcohol and a tender, soft mouthfeel. It fermented in small stainless steel and a 3,000-kilo oak vat with indigenous yeasts and then matured in 1,500- and 2,000-liter oak foudres for 15 months. The nose is spectacular, complex, deep and expressive, a little more exuberant than the 2016 but still serious and with the stony austerity. It’s rich and juicy in its Galician granite way, with fine, slightly dusty tannins. Think of this as somewhere in between 2015 and 2016. 2,665 bottles were filled in June 2019. Drink: 2020-2027. 96 points

    COVID-19 has meant a change in my tasting schedule, in some cases for good and in others for bad. I didn’t have the chance to taste the whole Telmo Rodríguez portfolio of wines like I had started doing last year, and I only tasted the wines from Gredos and Galicia to publish with the regional reports from those regions. But now that semi-normal activity resumed, the wines are hitting the market, and people have been receiving offers and asking about them. So, I asked him if he’d like to taste the rest of the wines. The wines from Gredos and Valdeorras are just a repetition of the notes I already published a few weeks ago and are included here for completeness, while the rest are tasted for the first time.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/20)

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  • Telmo Rodriguez Falcoeira A Capilla 2015

    £47.99

    “The 2015 Falcoeira A Capilla had a strong balsamic streak. This is the first vintage fermented in open oak vat and matured in foudre, and it might have changed its personality a bit. This is from a south-facing vineyard, the earliest to be harvested of the three reds. The vineyard is planted with young vines on very poor granite soils, and the plants suffer in the summer, perhaps more in line with the reds from Ribeira Sacra across the river than the other reds, with an austere sensation and a Mediterranean twist, perhaps marked by the character of the vintage with notes of rockrose, soy sauce and iodine. The vineyard is slowly finding its balance, and I found more character here—and even more elegance and finesse—than in 2014. 2,625 bottles were filled in May 2016. Drink: 2019-2023. 93+ points

    Telmo Rodríguez’s wines from Valdeorras keep improving, especially the ones coming from new plantings, as the vineyards settle and the plants get better balanced. The 2015 reds are ripe and powerful, a touch more Mediterranean than 2014. This time the As Caborcas outshone the O Diviso.

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (241)

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