Alvaro Palacios is something of a celebrity within the Spanish wine industry. His family owns - and he currently runs - the prestigious Bodega Palacios Remondo in Rioja Baja, and he is now making wines with his nephew in the exciting region of Bierzo, Galicia. But it was in Priorat where he set up on his own in 1989 following an apprenticeship at Chateau Petrus with a clear objective to produce world class wines.
As recently as the 1990s Priorat was not regarded highly as a wine region. It was Palacios and a handful of other winemakers - such as René Barbier - who propelled Priorat into international acclaim within a mere 10 years.
Camins del Priorat is Alvaro's entry level offering, and sourced from eight different villages Fruit is from low-yielding vines – some situated on the steep terraces composed of slate 'licorella' soils, so typical of the area.
The 2018 vintage is a blend of 35% Garnacha, 20% Cariñena, 20% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The vines are aged between 10 and 40 years old. The fruit is 100% destemmed before a 30-day maceration and then spends six months in barrel.
A deep raspberry colour in the glass, and on the nose dark blackcurrant fruit, spice and pencil lead.
This is complemented on the palette by black cherry, dark chocolate, crushed rock. Tannins are fine and overall the wine is nicely structured. Will evolve over time after opening and pair well with lamb dishes, grilled vegetables and barbecue. A solid grenache-focused blend to represent the Priorat style.
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