Rafael Palacios Louro do Bolo


Rafael Palacios is part of a Spanish winemaking dynasty. His family’s winery, Bodegas Palacios Remondo, has been a leading light in Rioja since 1945. The youngest of nine children, his brother Alvaro revolutionized winemaking in Priorat during the 1990’s. You would think that having such a revered name would have instilled a sense of privilege in Rafael. On the contrary, his family’s fame has pushed him to chart his own course. In his hands, the Godello grape variety has been raised to new heights of complexity. After leaving Bodegas Palacios Remondo, Rafa settled in the Val do Bibei, a rugged, weathered, and off-the-beaten-path sub-zone of Valdeorras. He farms 24.5 hectares of vineyards, separated into 32 sorte (a word in the local dialect that refers to the regional practice of drawing lots to determine inheritance). The oldest vines are up to 100 years old. These terraced vineyards are planted to granitic soils, and require intensive manual farming.

Each vintage, Rafa makes two cuvées from the sandy, granitic soils of the Val do Bibei: Louro and As Sortes. When conditions are right, he will also make three single-vineyard bottlings: Sorte Antiga, Sorte Souto, and Sorte O Soro.

The Louro is made from Godello grapes harvested from the younger vines. Fermented with natural yeasts, it is aged on its lees in neutral 30HL French oak foudres. As many of the vineyards are co-planted, the blend includes a small amount of Treixadura. Highlighting Godello’s minerality, it has fine aromas of peach, red apple, lime, and stone. Slightly creamy on the palate, bright acidity makes this a wonderful alternative to classic Chablis.

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5 – 7 days within Alberta.

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