Alvaro Palacios

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

Items

Alvaro Palacios 2017 'Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes' Priorat DOCa Login WS 91 WA 93 In Stock
Alvaro Palacios (375 ml) 2017 Finca Dofi Priorat Login
Alvaro Palacios 2017 'L'Ermita,' Priorat Login Please inquire
Alvaro Palacios 2017 Gratallops, Priorat DOCa Login Special Order Item
Alvaro Palacios 2017 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa Login Please inquire
Alvaro Palacios 2018 'Camins del Priorat' Priorat DOCa Login WA 91 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 oenology 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
Food & Wine: Reimagining Rioja with Spain's Most Famous Winemaker
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

  • Alvaro Palacios 2017 'Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes' Priorat DOCa
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 91 (7/31/2019)

    This red is round and tender, yet has good depth. Cherry and berry flavors mingle with graphite, wild herb and blood orange notes. The structure is unobtrusive, but the wine shows focus and definition. Drink now through 2027.
  • Alvaro Palacios 2018 'Camins del Priorat' Priorat DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (8/30/2019)

    The regional red blend 2018 Camins del Priorat was produced with grapes from 101 plots from eight villages in Priorat and wants to represent the overall character of the zone. It's young and fruit-driven with some herbal hints from the French grapes, which were picked early, intermixed with licorice and fennel. It's nicely textured, happy and fresh, juicy, clean and with no noticeable oak. It has a modern and clean profile. The tannins are soft and round. It's like a more concentrated version of 2016 and 2014, both cool years. Easy to drink and very pleasant.
  • Alvaro Palacios 2017 'Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes' Priorat DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (8/30/2019)

    It's produced with grapes from 80 different vineyards in eight villages and therefore is a regional wine. 2017 was a warm and ripe year that produced powerful wines. This 2017 is 55% Garnacha with 44% Cariñena and a 1% pinch of white grapes that fermented in concrete and oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in barrique and oak vat for 11 months. This is the earthiest of the bottlings, and it has some rustic touches from the Cariñena, which gives it its personality. 2017 was their earliest harvest ever (the first time they ever started harvesting in August!). They used a little more new oak, yet the wine is not oaky or excessively ripe. There is no room for sweetness here, and the wine is clean, reflecting very healthy grapes and very elegant tannins, quite transparent, not dry, but rather juicy. Great Terrasses, a triumph over the conditions of the vintage.