Overview of the Wine
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.
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.
- 4-6 months in used barrels and vats.
- 20,000 cases produced
35% Garnacha, 24% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cariñena, 10% Merlot and 3% other varieties.
Priorat DOCa, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Powerful but elegant, approachable but restrained.
James SucklingGorgeous, bright fruit with raspberries, black cherries and lavender with some schist. It’s medium-bodied with very polished and integrated tannins that go on and on. Drink or hold.
Robert Parker's Wine AdvocateThe regional blend 2019 Camins del Priorat is a blend of 35% Garnacha, 24% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cariñena, 10% Merlot and 3% other varieties. The grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and then put to ferment with the natural yeasts in a combination of stainless steel, oak and concrete vats. After fermentation, it matured in barrel and oak vats for four months. 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.
Product size: 750ml