Tag Archives: Alvaro Palacios

South by South-East (Rioja, Spain – Day Four)

It’s funny how everyone’s concept of quality is different. In New World wine-producing countries the only laws and restrictions we have on our wines relate to labelling, whereby if we label our wines as being from a variety, region and/or vintage, they must be a minimum level (e.g. a minimum 85% in Australia). This doesn’t mean we have to use these minimums, we can always not indicate any of these things on the label. In Europe on the other hand, most of the wine regions and countries have established sometimes complicated systems and laws governing viticulture and wine production to maintain and in some cases guarantee quality. Take the Rioja Denominacion de Origen Calficada (DOCa, the only one in Spain not including the Priorat DOCQ) for example. The classification relates to red wines, and limits the maximum yield per hectare to 6.5 tonnes, and only allows tempranillo, graciano, garnacha tinto and mazuelo. There are then four quality designations that are determined based on the barrel and bottle ageing, from the young/Joven wines, to Crianza (minimum one year in oak, total two years before release), Reserva (minimum one year in barrel, total three years before release), and Gran Reserva (minimum two years in barrel, minimum three years in bottle). This comes back to my initial comment, that quality is partly subjective and somewhat controversial, as many producers forego the system in favour of less oak ageing, and they would be considered far superior in quality compared to others. Simply labelling a wine as Gran Reserva is no indication of quality at the end of the day. Like any wine (or product for that matter) regardless of origin , all you can do is trust the producer, but unfortunately you can’t tell the quality of a wine when it is the bottle.

Above Rioja Orientale vineyards near Alfaro

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Winery Visits

Palacios Remondo – 14/06/2012

La Vendemia 2011 (50% garnacha, 50% tempranillo)
Lovely light bright ruby red colour. Some floral spice, clear grenache influence, violets and roses. Fresh, fruit sweet blackforest, dark cherry notes. Soft mellow full, generosity of fruit sweet characters, possibly some R/S? Approachable and delicious, very appealing, good with food. Great balance and character.

Placet 2009 (100% viura)
Very elegant mineral rich nose, delicate white floral, white peach and some citrus notes, some very faint battonage characters. Body viscosity and richness without being heavy, fat or buttery. Ripe tropical fruits and good consistency, lots of life and vibrancy, lingering texture and a little warmth for good measure.

La Montesa 2009 (50% garnacha, 40% tempranillo, 10% mazuela)
Slightly pale brick red. Beautifully unique floral notes, slightly hazel(?), black fruits. Wonderful depth concentration, elegance and delicacy, balance of sweet red fruits and savoury elements; earth, slight sweet spice, very fine well structured tannins, an outstanding Rioja wine.

Propiedad 2010 (97% garnacha, 3% tempranillo)
Surprisingly light colour, red not purple. Quite a concentrated dark fruit and floral nose with some dried herbal notes, dried rose petals. Full sweet fruit and oak tannins, quite soft and mellow though. Feeling the warmth in it’s youth, looking slightly candied. Wonderful depth, concentration and extension.

Palacios Remondo tasting

Leave a comment

Filed under Tasting Notes

Welcome to Spain (technically) (Priorat, Spain – Day One)

After a brief hiatus I am now back in wine country, and an entirely new country has welcomed me with open arms. The question is, what country is that; Spain or Catalunya? The Catalan people are convinced that they should be separate from the rest of Spain, as they speak a different language and have their own unique culture. As it is the first part of Spain I am visiting or have ever visited, it is difficult for me to say whether or not there is a big difference, but much like Italy I am excited to find the differences between each part of the country. I am spending the next six weeks in Spain and Portugal, mostly working in a clockwise direction, and thankfully I seem to have a very reliable, fuel-efficient car that is not too small and drives very nicely (a Citroen C4). I arrived in Barcelona last week and spent the weekend there. It is a lovely city, and is one of those modern cosmopolitan cities that everyone should visit, but I did get the distinct impression that it is more a reflection of Europe rather than Catalunya or Spain. There is certainly a fantastic night life, and the beaches are great, but prices seem to be a little higher and it is harder to find good authentic regional food there, as a lot of the (particularly young) inhabitants want more international food. Anyway, on Monday morning I headed south-west to Priorat to discover one of the most talked about wine regions in Spain.

Easter all over again

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Winery Visits

Alvaro Palacios – 4/06/2012

Camins del Priorat 2010

Very bright and floral, purple black fruits, blackberries. Very fruit-sweet and intense, black fruit conserve, blood plum, black cherry, blackcurrant. Bold forward rich, vibrant juicy, dense tannins but very fresh and clean.

Les Terrasess 2010 (Velles Vinyes)

Earthier more concentrated and mineralic, savoury spicy liquorice. Fine and balanced, great length and integrity. Generous silky tannins and mature fruit characters. Density of fruit, vibrant integrated oak and acid. Very young and a little closed and unexpressive for the time being.

Gratallops 2010 Vi de la Vila

Very unusual smell of abalone, crushed violets and black forest fruits. Much more intense, very full and powerful tannins, some sweetness of oak and lot’s of fruit sweetness. Savoury raisined black fruit, quite extractive and dense, full texture and warmth. New world? Modern wine? Typically Spanish?

Finca Dofi 2010

Juby blackcurrants and blueberries, dark earth notes, blue slate. A little gentler in structure and tannins, nonetheless intense and dark. Newer oak characters, fruit forward and fairly straightforward. Am I tasting the wines too young? Am I missing something? Has the potential to be amazing, but really not seeing a lot that makes it extraordinary. Taste some older wines perhaps?
Alvaro Palacios tasting

Leave a comment

Filed under Tasting Notes