As my tasting routine takes me to Valdeorras every 16 months or so, sometimes I have two vintages of the most relevant wines to taste side by side. Such was the case with the 2016 As Sortes, which I tasted next to the following 2017 vintage. 2016 was a slow-ripening year with a dry harvest that allowed for perfectly ripe grapes while maintaining very good levels of freshness. It fermented and matured in 500-liter oak barrels for some six to seven months. This has to be the finest vintage for As Sortes, and they seem to have been on a roll since 2012. The growing cycle was almost perfect and allowed for perfect ripeness of the grapes, which were harvested in the second half of October, very late (they finished on the 4th of November). The grapes achieved full flavors through slow ripening and kept the acidity. It has a sense of balance and symmetry with great precision and purity. There are subtle aromas of apricots and yellow plums and a twist of aromatic herbs intermixed with notes of wet granite. The palate has great intensity of flavors and is superbly balanced, long and tasty, with the signature saltiness on the finish. 32,000 bottles were filled in July 2017.