2019 Alvaro Palacios, Les Terrasses, Ladera de Pizarra, Priorat DO, Spain.
Alvaro Palacios is one off the Priorat region’s greatest producers and this Les Terrasses, made from old vine Garnacha and Cariñena, is one of the most delicious and value packed bottlings you can find, as this recently released 2019 proves. Dark purple in the glass and nicely aromatic the Les Terrasses shows off its high percentage of Grenache with rich and expressive layers of dense red berry, plum, strawberry and candied cherry fruits that are accented by hints of smoke, graphite, anise, creme de cassis, dried herbs and sandalwood. This vintage is lush and the tannins are sweet and supple, making this wine smooth in mouth feel and easy to love.
The Les Terrasses Priorat red comes from 80 plots of vines in eight different small villages in the Priorat region of Cataluna, and for this 2019 vintage Alvaro Palacios used 82% Garnacha, 17% Cariñena and 1% of native white grapes. For the vinification here, Palacios used 100% de-stemmed and gently crushed grapes and he fermented them in a combination of concrete and oak vats with indigenous yeasts. After primary fermentation ended the wine was racked to barrel and then it was raised in French oak barrels for about 12 months. Coming from stony llicorella soils that are Paleozoic bedrock with red and black slate primarily, there is also trace amounts of mica and quartzite that all add to the complexity of this wine and the arid conditions give small yields as well as the concentration, contributing to the hedonism of the region’s’ wines.
($42 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive