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 DEC 92 In Stock
Alvaro Palacios (375 ml) 2017 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa Login In Stock
Alvaro Palacios 2017 Gratallops, Priorat DOCa Login In Stock
Alvaro Palacios 2017 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa Login WA 95 WS 94 Please inquire
Alvaro Palacios 2019 '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
Wine Advocate: The Álvaro Palacios 2020 Portfolio
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 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.
  • Alvaro Palacios 2017 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 95 (4/30/2019)

    There is no trace of oak in the wines, and there are no edges; they all feel sleek and elegant. This Dofí expresses the Mediterranean vintage from this vineyard at 300 to 320 meters in altitude, where the slate has a lot of iron, which turns the soils red and makes round and velvety wines, with flavors of red cherries, cherry pit, nectarines and even blood orange. The warm soils are compensated by mostly northern exposures. The palate has volume and is juicy, sensual and velvety, with some fine-grained tannins that currently call for food. It makes for a very gastronomical red. In 2018, there will be a separate bottling from one hectare of pure north-exposition grapes from Dofí, a new wine called La Baixada.
  • Alvaro Palacios 2017 'Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes' Priorat DOCa
    Decanter
    Rating: 92 (11/15/2019)

    Luxurious aromas of plums, violets and cedar with delicious red fruit quality. On the palate, it is fresh with nice concentration and soft tannins.
  • Alvaro Palacios 2017 Priorat, Finca Dofi, DOCa
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 94 (5/27/2020)

    This big red is broad and firm. Muscular tannins support the ripe flavors of plum, currant and fig, while tangy acidity keeps this lively and focused. Black olive, dark chocolate, pine and loamy earth notes add interest to this brooding, balanced wine. Drink now through 2033.
  • Alvaro Palacios 2019 'Camins del Priorat' Priorat DOCa
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (6/17/2020)

    This wine showcases the power and concentration of 2019, an extraordinarily warm and dry year, but the wine has great finesse. There are more balsamic aromas from the Bordeaux varieties, which incredibly didn't dehydrate that year: the leaves took a long time to turn yellow. There are notes of licorice and something balsamic. This is juicy and chewy, powerful, with muscle, pungent and intense but with great balance and very clean. This is the most modern and international of their wines, with a showy profile. A triumph over the conditions of the vintage.