Alvaro Palacios

Alvaro Palacios - 2017 IBD Offer - Wimbledon Wine Cellar

ÁLVARO PALACIOS 2017 VINTAGE IBD OFFER - Please enquire for DPD offer

 Vintage Report

“The most radical year ever experienced” (Álvaro Palacios on 2017 Priorat, March 2018)

One of Spain's most important and influential producers Alvaro is making stunning wines. They're expensive but thrilling. After studying wine-making in Bordeaux and spending time at Chateau Petrus, he purchased his first vineyard in his beloved Spain in 1990. The rest is history....

2017 was a vintage of extremes with frost and hail in Bierzo in the spring, yet with what Álvaro describes as “the most radiant sun ever experienced” over the summer in Priorat. It is also the first vintage of Descendientes de J. Palacios wines to have been made in the property’s stunning new winery.

The season started undramatically in Bierzo until a devastating frost hit in the region in April. The frost mainly affected the valley floor, leaving the top vineyards of Descendientes de J. Palacios relatively unscathed. However, in a cruel twist of fate, a terrible hail storm two weeks later destroyed a significant proportion of these incredible vineyards, leaving Las Lamas about 20% down in production and virtually wiping out any hope for Moncerbal, with no wine being released from that vineyard this year and Corullón subsequently around 20% down. A very warm summer and slightly less rainfall than usual (approx. 700mm vs the norm of 900mm) brought the harvest forward by three weeks. Picking started on 21st August bringing everyone suddenly back from their holidays earlier than planned. The wines are lifted, elegant and fresh with a purity and finesse that is delightful.

Priorat was miraculously spared the frost that was so destructive across the rest of Northern Spain, however, it experienced its own challenges. A very dry winter left the vines with little hydric support and the ensuing drought (only 380mm rainfall across the whole year with no rainfall whatsoever between May and October) and continuous days of 47 °C temperatures would have brought many vines to their knees. Álvaro Palacios’s hardy, old Garnacha and Cariñena vines were best placed to face the extreme conditions and miraculously yields are not much down. Instead, 2017 has produced extremely concentrated wines with beautiful, sweet, ripe fruit yet with an astonishing, equally concentrated freshness. These are “miraculous” wines from an incredible year.

The newly-named Rioja Oriental was also spared the frosts that ravaged the western half of the region and the high level of calcium carbonate in the soil of Quiñon de Valmira allowed the vines to remain cool, bringing an elegance here to what was otherwise a warm and very dry vintage. 2017 Valmira is, yet again, an unbelievably pure expression of 100% Garnacha with perhaps a little more structure than 2016.

Wines sold in 6 x 75cl cases. 3 x 75cl are also available, however you must contact us directly and Wimbledon Wine Cellar will send you an invoice to be settled by BACS.

Descendientes de J. Palacios (Corullón)

2017 Corullón Bierzo

Corullón is fresh, floral and lifted with elegant rainwater and sea breeze aromas. There are delicate, fine flavours on the palate of blackberry seeds and juicy, crisp blueberries with a lovely hint of rose hips. The wine leaves a scent in the glass; it is just so pretty and subtle. Purity is the watchword to this excellent Corullón. Drink 2019 – 2027.

2017 Las Lamas Bierzo

Much richer on the nose, Las Lamas has a high level of ripeness in 2017 which is allied very much to a savoury, almost marmite note on the palate with a roasted hazelnut edge. The wine is round, broad textured and very smooth on the palate. The nose is still lifted though with a hint of violets; this is very different to Corullón and is a deeper, more complex style of wine. Drink 2020-2029+.

2017 La Faraona Bierzo

La Faraona’s wonderfully lifted, granitic nose is reminiscent of pure rainwater. The fruit is beautifully focused with notes of blackberries and lavender. ‘Scented’ is the way to describe this wine, it is not heady but is instead incredibly subtle, elegant, fine and pure. The 2017 has much finer tannins than normal and that flavour of wet stone goes on and on. It is stunning. Drink 2020 – 2032+.

Álvaro Palacios (Gratallops)

2017 Gratallops Priorat

Wow. This is a rounded, voluptuous, super-concentrated Gratallops. Rich, round, juicy cranberry fruit is perfectly balanced with great freshness. The flavour is that of just-picked blackberries, refreshingly tart but juicy and moreish. 2017 has resulted in a truly fantastic Gratallops. Drink 2019 – 2025+.

2017 Finca Dofi Priorat

Perfumed, fragrant and heady yet gorgeously fresh, this wine is liquid joy. The level of acidity combined with such dense fruit is stunning. The wine is incredibly fine, brimming with macerated cranberries and sweet red cherries but with perfect poise. The tannins are super-fine and the layers of flavours just keep building on the palate. Amazing. Drink 2020 – 2035+.

2017 Les Aubaguetes Priorat

‘Aubaguetes’ means ‘shade’ in the local dialect due to the steep north-facing slope that brings cooler temperatures and calm to this tiny 1.34ha vineyard of blue slate. The nose is really fine with aromas of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, reminiscent of summer pudding. The wine has lovely focus this year with an intriguing savoury edge. Like its Priorat siblings, it also has gorgeous freshness which really lifts it, making it a more elegant, fine, linear wine than in previous vintages. A savoury hint of toast mingles with ripe red and black berries on a long length. Drink 2020-2030+.

2017 L’Ermita Priorat

‘Sensational’ is the only way to describe 2017 L’Ermita. The nose is wonderful with intense red and black fruit as macerated cranberries vie with ripe redcurrants and flavours of raspberry and blackberry coulis. The fruit is incredibly pure and the wine is stunningly fresh and linear. Álvaro Palacios described how this wine has an incredibly low pH, which is extraordinary, combined with the voluptuous, velvet nature of the fruit. It is just amazing: complex, fine and elegant with depth and finesse. Heavenly. Drink 2024-2045+.

Álvaro Palacios (Alfaro, La Rioja)

2017 Quiñon de Valmira

2017 Valmira has an elegant, incredibly subtle nose of raspberry tea and honeysuckle. Very fine, powdery tannins with a chalky edge kick in on the palate and suddenly this isn’t about fruit as much as multi-faceted flavour sensations. The wine has some savoury, toasty characters but they combine with gentle red cherry fruit. There is stronger minerality here than in previous vintages as the savoury note grows in intensity on the palate. This is the least fruit-driven wine of the 2017 release yet it is so subtly complex, it just builds and builds layers of flavour on the palate. Very fine and fresh with the fruit all held in check, this has a huge length. It is ultra-subtle and very impressive. Drink 2025-2040.  

Wines sold in 6 x 75cl cases. 3 x 75cl are also available, however you must contact us directly and Wimbledon Wine Cellar will send you an invoice to be settled by BACS.

Wines will be shipped Spring / Summer 2020.