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Bolo Godello, Valdeorras 2014

White Wine from Spain
Fine, dry white from Galicia in north-west Spain. The superb godello grape flourishes here, especially in the expert hands of top grower Rafael Palacios who makes it in an elegant, restrained lemony style with a soft, broad texture.
is no longer available
Code: SP10161

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Godello
  • 13% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Cork, natural

Rafael Palacios

Rafael Palacios is a talented, relentlessly enthusiastic winemaker with great ambitions, particularly for a new, premium interpretation of his beloved godello grape.

His ambitions are probably a result of being part of one of Spain’s great winemaking families: not only are his brother and uncle esteemed winemakers, but he is also the youngest son of Jose Palacios Remondo, founder of the fantastic eponymous bodega. It was here that Rafael made his first wine in 1997 – Placet, a highly successful wine using the macabeo grape – and here that he realised that his passion was for white wine production.

Prior to working with his father, Rafael trained in St Emilion, working a harvest at neighbouring Pomerol giant Château Petrus among others, before moving to Australia’s Coonawara region where he learned about the in-depth processes involved in winemaking.

His turning point came when he decided to go solo in 2004. Choosing the unknown Valdeorras region in Galicia – the indigenous home of godello – he bought some mature godello vineyards from local growers in Bibei Valley, an almost abandoned sub-zone in the O Bolo municipality. Bibei Valley’s steep terraces and poor soil fertility make vine growth somewhat difficult, but Rafael wanted to use his experience as a consultant to unlock the region’s winemaking potential. He has since brought Valdeorras to a much wider audience and significantly raised the profile of the region’s wines.

He now owns over 20 hectares consisting of about 26...
Rafael Palacios is a talented, relentlessly enthusiastic winemaker with great ambitions, particularly for a new, premium interpretation of his beloved godello grape.

His ambitions are probably a result of being part of one of Spain’s great winemaking families: not only are his brother and uncle esteemed winemakers, but he is also the youngest son of Jose Palacios Remondo, founder of the fantastic eponymous bodega. It was here that Rafael made his first wine in 1997 – Placet, a highly successful wine using the macabeo grape – and here that he realised that his passion was for white wine production.

Prior to working with his father, Rafael trained in St Emilion, working a harvest at neighbouring Pomerol giant Château Petrus among others, before moving to Australia’s Coonawara region where he learned about the in-depth processes involved in winemaking.

His turning point came when he decided to go solo in 2004. Choosing the unknown Valdeorras region in Galicia – the indigenous home of godello – he bought some mature godello vineyards from local growers in Bibei Valley, an almost abandoned sub-zone in the O Bolo municipality. Bibei Valley’s steep terraces and poor soil fertility make vine growth somewhat difficult, but Rafael wanted to use his experience as a consultant to unlock the region’s winemaking potential. He has since brought Valdeorras to a much wider audience and significantly raised the profile of the region’s wines.

He now owns over 20 hectares consisting of about 26 parcels of vines up to 90 years old, and range from 600-720m altitude, making them some of the highest in the region. They are located on the right bank of the Bibei river, where the poor, sandy-textured granite soils give grapes particularly high acidity and produce low yields.

Rafael is intent on producing Spain’s first great single-estate white wine, so he is passionately involved in every stage of the production process. He has chosen not to use any herbicides or artificial chemicals in the vineyards, and he uses specially adapted lightweight machinery to tend the difficult steep slopes.

The result of his hard work is the ‘As Sortes’ range, a name derived from the fact that the Bibei region is made up of small plots of vineyards which are inherited by winegrowers through a system of drawing lots (called ‘sortes’ in the Galician language), often out of a hat. Of particular note is the range’s second wine, Louro, which is carefully aged in French oak to produce godello at its lemony, creamy best; but even the third wine, Bolo, named after a local village, is a delicious example of how refreshing the grape is when aged in stainless steel.
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Spain Vintage 2014

The 2014 vintage in Spain has generally produced decent quality and good volume. In Rioja, however, conditions were challenging: after a cool spring, the summer was dry with warm temperatures, and Rioja looked set for an excellent harvest. But high rainfall and warm temperatures in September and October 2014 provided perfect conditions for fungal disease. Selection was therefore essential to make good wines. Some producers took decisive action: for example, Bodegas Muga invested in a new optical sorter which, though costly, meant only the healthiest grapes were included in the fermentation.

2014 is therefore a year to follow producers who were prepared to forego quantity for quality; these are the bodegas we shall follow. A clearer picture will evolve once the malolactic fermentation is completed.

Ribera del Duero had a large 2014 harvest, in some cases 25% above average, so crop thinning was essential to produce good quality. Like Rioja it will be a vintage to follow producers who...
The 2014 vintage in Spain has generally produced decent quality and good volume. In Rioja, however, conditions were challenging: after a cool spring, the summer was dry with warm temperatures, and Rioja looked set for an excellent harvest. But high rainfall and warm temperatures in September and October 2014 provided perfect conditions for fungal disease. Selection was therefore essential to make good wines. Some producers took decisive action: for example, Bodegas Muga invested in a new optical sorter which, though costly, meant only the healthiest grapes were included in the fermentation.

2014 is therefore a year to follow producers who were prepared to forego quantity for quality; these are the bodegas we shall follow. A clearer picture will evolve once the malolactic fermentation is completed.

Ribera del Duero had a large 2014 harvest, in some cases 25% above average, so crop thinning was essential to produce good quality. Like Rioja it will be a vintage to follow producers who were prepared to make these sacrifices. Reports from Galicia are that the albariño vintage has proved quite tricky this year, with a reduced volume available. Late rains have affected the harvest and selection has been necessary in the vineyard; nevertheless they are pretty confident about quality. From Catalunya our key supplier, Tomàs Cusiné, is upbeat, especially about the whites, which combine flavour and freshness. In Priorat particularly, rain and hail caused worries about rot but good growers worked to overcome them and there is expectation that the reds will show lovely fruit and freshness and the ability to age well.

Further south, drought in Jumilla (home to monastrell and where The Society's Southern Spanish Red comes from) reduced yields by 20% but this dry weather has meant grapes have ripened in perfect health.
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2014 vintage reviews
2013 vintage reviews
2012 vintage reviews

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