Álvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat, Spain, 2020 through Merchant of Wine.

Álvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat, Spain, 2019 / 2020

Regular price $27.95 Sale price $30.00

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About the Producer
If anyone embodies the promise and spirit of
“The New Spain,” it’s Alvaro Palacios. His L’Ermita is widely considered—along with Peter Sisseck’s Dominio de Pingus—to be the most important new Spanish wine of the modern era.

One of nine children born to the owners of Rioja’s respected Palacios Remondo, Alvaro studied enology in Bordeaux, while working under Jean-Pierre Moueix at Ch. 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, 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.

Origin
Priorat DOCa, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain 

Grape/ Blend
55% Garnacha, 15% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cariñena

Wine Details
Alvaro had never wanted to be known solely for expensive “trophy” wines, and with Camins, he found the opportunity to create something special. Drawing on his wealth of vineyard sources, Alvaro is aiming to produce a wine that is affordably priced, but which also stays true to his vision of Priorat—powerful but elegant, approachable but restrained.

ORGANIC - Practicing
VINEYARD - A combination of estate vineyards and purchased grapes.
SOIL - Schist.
VITICULTURE - all the growers that Alvaro works with are responsible.
VINIFICATION - The grapes are destemmed and softly crushed. 30 day maceration. Fermentation is in stainless steel, cement and large open top wooden vats. Remontages and punching down.
AGING - 4-6 months in used barrels and wooden vats
PRODUCTION - 20,000 cases

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat is powerful but elegant, approachable but restrained.

93 Points - James Suckling
Sweet-berry, watermelon and orange aromas follow through to a full body with soft, fine tannins and a fruity finish. Friendly and delicious. Drink now.

92 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The regional blend 2020 Camins del Priorat, produced with grapes from 101 plots from eight villages in Priorat, is a blend of 55% Garnacha, 15% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cariñena, higher in Garnacha and lower in Cariñena, like in the majority of 2019s. That gives the wines freshness and elegance, vivacity and fluidity. It fermented with the indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless steel, oak and concrete vats and matured in barrel and oak vats for four months. This is more Priorat than any of the vintages of Camins; in reality, nobody is planting French varieties anymore and many are regrafting their vines, so in the future, the tendency could be toward more Garnacha and Cariñena in this wine. This is a very drinkable version of Camins, less dense than the 2019, from a year that was cooler with just an herbal hint. The mouthfeel is velvety with great freshness and very fine tannins. This has to be the finest Camins to date, different from previous years; it should be a commercial success. 226,000 bottles were produced. 2020 was their earliest harvest ever.

Product size: 750ml


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