Alvaro Palacios

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Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Gratallops, Priorat
People: Alvaro Palacios, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic

Items

Alvaro Palacios 2015 'Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes' Priorat DOCa Login In Stock
Alvaro Palacios 2014 Gratallops, Priorat DOCa Login WA 92+ In Stock
Alvaro Palacios 2014 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa Login WA 95+ WS 92 Please inquire
Alvaro Palacios 2015 'Camins del Priorat' Priorat DOCa Login WA 89 In Stock

Alvaro Palacios is one of the stalwarts of the new wave of Spanish winemakers. One of nine children born to the owners of Rioja’s respected Palacios Remondo, Alvaro studied enology in Bordeaux, while working under Jean-Pierre Moueix at Château Pétrus. He credits his tenure at Pétrus for much of his winemaking philosophy and for showing him “the importance of great wines.”

Alvaro could have returned to the security of his family’s domaine. But instead, he was drawn to the remote and seductive Priorat, 60 miles from Barcelona, which had been one of Spain’s important pre-Phylloxera wine regions. With its unique terroir of steep hills and terraces Alvaro believed that here he could make a wine that evoked both Pétrus and Grange.

He acquired his first vineyard, Finca Dofí, in 1990. Then, in 1993, he located what is now regarded as the crown jewel property in Priorat, a precipitous, northeast-facing Garnacha vineyard on well-drained schist that had been planted between 1900 and 1940. Alvaro named it for a small chapel, or hermitage (L'Ermita), that sits atop the hill. In 1995, the flow of critical praise for Alvaro’s L’Ermita began, and it hasn’t stopped. But while L’Ermita has received most of the attention, Alvaro produces several other wines compelling in their own rights.

Media Links
Masters of Wine: Alvaro Palacios wines Winemakers' Winemaker Award 2016
Wine Spectator: Featured Winemaker, Alvaro Palacios
Decanter.com: Alvaro Palacios, Spanish Wanderer

Received Institute of Masters of Wine Winemakers’ Winemaker Award in 2016:
“This Award has the unique distinction of being voted for by winemakers. All of them as Masters of Wine are committed to excellence, and with this Award they recognise in Àlvaro Palacios’ work as a winemaker his own continued commitment to excellence.”

Named Decanter Man of the Year in 2015:
“Palacios embodies, with his wines, the spirit of the new Spain, and has inspired a new generation of winemakers.”

Wine Spectator 10/2016:
“During the past 30 years, he has made brilliant wines from Rioja, Priorat and Bierzo, always seeking out old vines and focusing on distinctive terroir.”

Jon Bonné:
“It’s worth remembering that Palacios took a big gamble on untested places and grapes - namely Bierzo and Mencia - at a time when Spain was chasing more obvious paths to revival. That decision helped to revive Spain’s belief in its indigenous wine culture.”

Decanter 2/2010:
“With bodegas in Rioja, Priorat and Bierzo, Palacios is one of the defining personalities in Spanish wine today. In just 20 years, he has established a formidable reputation as a dynamic pioneer, generating global praise for his wines – in particular, those from the forgotten regions of Spain he has been so active in promoting.”

Reviews

  • A. Palacios 2015 'Camins del Priorat' Priorat DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 89 (10/28/2016)

    A superb introduction to Priorat could be the 2015 Camins del Priorat, the only wine where they still use French grapes varieties. This year yields broke all records, and the blend in 2015 was 40% Garnacha, 20% Cariñena, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 10% Merlot. It's a heady, rich and aromatic red full of Mediterranean herbs, licorice, fennel and aniseed and a peachy sensation with a velvety palate, young and primary, accessible and easy to drink. It even feels a tad lighter than other vintages.
  • A. Palacios 2014 Gratallops, Priorat DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92+ (10/28/2016)

    The red 2014 Gratallops is a "vi de vila" (a village wine), which is a category created in Priorat. Priorat has been a pioneer within the appellations of origin to start differentiating and defining origin in their wines. This is a blend of approximately 80% Garnacha and the rest Cariñena. All the plots used are mentioned on the label: Ermites, La Capella, Torrent, Coll del Corral, Socarrats, L’Hort de L’Olivar, La Font Nova, Carrerada, Coll de Falset, Obagues and Manyetes. It fermented in oak vat followed by malolactic and aging in barrique. This felt quite floral and open, aromatic and elegant, mixing flowers and Mediterranean herbs, and an earthy but subtle mineral sensation. The herbal sensation seems to grow with time in the glass. The palate is tasty, I guess the high acidity makes the wine long and amplifies the mineral/salty sensation in the finish. Agile and vertical, the abundant tannins seem sharpened by the acidity and it should benefit from some more time in bottle.
  • A. Palacios 2014 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 95+ (10/28/2016)

    The 2014 Finca Dofí is a blend of approximately 94% Garnacha and 6% Cariñena from a plot in Gratallops called Finca Dofí. The destemmed and crushed grapes fermented in oak vats with natural yeasts followed by malolactic and 14 months aging in oak barrels. It feels terribly lively, with a silkiness and purity, terse but at the same time ripe. The oak is very integrated and there is no volatility many associate with Priorat, but the flavors are clearly reminiscent of the old vintages of Dofí but with a much more polished texture. Again the acidity gives it clout and depth, like claws clinging to you. It ends tasty and very mineral. This feels as good as the other-worldly 2013. A great vintage for Dofí. Elegance in a bottle
  • A. Palacios 2014 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (12/14/2016)

    Polished and restrained, this red offers black cherry, pomegranate, smoky and mineral flavors, supported by light tannins and firm acidity. Not showy, but harmonious. Drink now through 2024.