In the Bierzo appellation, perched in the Northwest corner of Spain, ancient Mencía vineyards emerge from the steepest of hillsides, their roots deeply set into unique, mineral-laden soils. Under the skilled hands of Palacios and his cousin, Ricardo Perez Palacios, the forgotten black grape (believed by some to be a cousin of Cabernet Franc), has achieved new heights. The 60- to 100 year-old vines yield less than one ton per acre, resulting in a most... View More
The Wine Advocate
The entry-level wine (what an entry!) is the 2007 Petalos del Bierzo, 100% Mencia from vineyards ranging in age from 40 to 90 years. It spends its first few weeks in new French barriques before transfer to seasoned oak for 6 to 10 months. Saturated purple in color, it offers up a super-fragrant bouquet of smoke, violets, mineral, wild blueberry, and black raspberry. Fruity yet complex on the palate, it has superb depth, grip, and balance. This sexy effort can be enjoyed over the next six years but only hedonists need apply.
During the late 1980's, Alvaro Palacios travelled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers. But his journeys had a second purpose: to find the best place to achieve his goal of making Spain's greatest wine. He ultimately decided, in 1990, on Priorato, where he would achieve worldwide fame with "L'Ermita" and "Finca Dofi." But there had been a close contender: Bierzo. It had all the ingredients that Alvaro wanted - incredibly steep hillside vineyards,... View More