In a nutshell: An elegant, fresh and minerally Spanish white from the north western region of Valdeorras in Galicia.
The lowdown: Valdeorras which sits in a remote part of northwestern Spain is sometimes known as 'the gateway to Galicia', but more importantly is the natural home of Godello. The variety has once all but disappeared from around here, but is thankfully now back because it makes delicious wines in this terrain and this example by Rafael Palacios is one of the benchmarks against which many others are judged. A top example of Godello, it's a medium-bodied and very stylish wine with intense aromas of citrus fruits, wild mountain flowers, hints of fennel and flinty nuances. On the palate, it's very fruit-forward and supported by a taut, saline minerality and a textural complexity.
When to drink: A graceful wine that fully deserves all the praises it gets. It's a natural with white fish dishes.
Rafael Palacios comes from something of a winemaking dynasty. His father, uncle and brother are all highly regarded winemakers across Rioja, Priorat and other parts of Spain. Rafael himself cut his teeth working on his father's Rioja estate, prior to training and working in Bordeaux and Coonawarra, South Australia.
After discovering that his particular forte lay in white wines in 2004 he established his own estate in the small town of A Rúa in the little known Valdeorras region of Galicia, home of the white wine variety Godello.
Since then his skill and expertise has certainly raised the profile of this previously obscure wine region and has, simultaneously, deservedly rescued the Godello grape varierty from near extinction. Rafael's ambitions are to produce Spain's best single estate white wines. Something he seems to be well on the way to achieving.