Rafael Palacios 'Sorte Antiga'
The ’Sorte Antiga’ is sourced from a single vineyard, located in the heart of the Bibei Valley. The 0.24 ha parcel of bush vine Godello
was planted in 1920, making it the oldest and most unique vineyard owned by Rafael Palacios, as its name suggests. The site’s northerly aspect and high altitude (680 metres above sea level), slows ripening and contributes to the wine's complex aromatics and bracing acidity. The shallow soils are decomposed granite and sandy in texture. A covering of straw is used to protect the topsoil, enrich its organic matter and retain water. Planting density is very low. The vines’ age and poor soils ensure low yields of intensely flavoured grapes that mature very well phenolically, imparting rich texture in the wine. The site is farmed biodynamically.
The 2019 vintage saw more generous yields following two challenging years, during which no 'Sorte Antiga' was produced. April experienced abundant rainfall and quite cold conditions, which delayed budburst. This late start, combined with much fewer hours of sunshine than usual, delayed the start of maturation and resulted in a significantly later harvest than recent years. Slow, steady ripening, coupled with short sunny days and cold nights, resulted in intense fruit with good acidity and complexity. Rafa describes it as “an exceptional vintage with tension and nerve, which warns us of its great ageing capacity”.