As Sortes Val do Bibei, Rafael Palacios
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.