Grenache versus Mencía. Extreme against temperate climate. Terroir versus fruitiness. Or ultimately, Priorat versus Bierzo.
There would be few things in common between these two designations of origin (apart from providing some of the best wines in Spain) if it wasn’t because in both regions, wines are elaborated under the seal of one of the best and most renowned current oenologists: Álvaro Palacios.
Such as his brothers, Álvaro was trained in the best oenology schools in the world. It was 24 years ago when he initiated his trajectory in Priorat, where he has contributed to turn what was for years a mediocre wine production region into one of the most exciting and consolidated areas in the world wine scene and has given life to gems such as L’Ermita or Gratallops.
Alvaro Palacios‘ way of understanding winemaking can be summarized in one sentence which can be taken to the extreme: tradition and maximum respect of the vines and the environment.
In the last few years, along with his nephew Ricardo, Palacios also exported his philosophy full of honesty to the region of Bierzo and has brought the know-how of Descendientes de J. Palacios, the family winery (nowadays run by the fifth and sixth generation) to an upper level.
Today, let us introduce you to the new 2011 vintages of the youngest brothers by these wineries: Camins del Priorat, Les Terrasses and Pétalos del Bierzo.
Camins del Priorat 2011 (13.65€) is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. This year’s production consisted of 210.000 bottles. According to Palacios, we are facing the best vintage of this wine since it was first elaborated. Camins is made in cooperation with several winemakers in the area, following the procedures of traditional winemaking. Intense, expressive, mineral… Camins del Priorat 2011 represents the real typicity of the D.O. Priorat and is one of the best value for money in the market.
Another of the wines elaborated by Álvaro Palacios in Priorat and among those whose new vintage has recently be released is Les Terrasses 2011 (25.40€). It is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Carignan, and from our point of view, there is no doubt that this is its best vintage. It is highly refined, and shows the elegant mid palate that can only be found in great Priorat wines.
Last but not least, and this time turning to the D.O. Bierzo, it is worth highlighting the arrival of Pétalos del Bierzo‘s new vintage 2011. Pétalos del Bierzo 2011 (13.25€) is a wine made of 95% Mencía from old vines, with a production of 320.000 bottles. It is fruity, intense, floral and light. A luxury of a wine at an unbeatable price.
These are three wines within everyone’s reach and loyal portraits of the land from which they come from. A pleasure in every sense and the reflection of the winemaking experience of one of the greatest oenologists: Álvaro Palacios.
There is no doubt that these wines allow forecasting how will be the vintage 2011 of their eldest.
Let’s taste them!