Alvaro Palacios Red Alvaro Palacios - L&

Alvaro Palacios - L'Ermita - Priorat

98 points - The Wine Advocate
98 points - The Wine Advocate

Regular price €990.00 Inc Vat
€1,320.00/l
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There is even more Cariñena in this warm vintage, and the varietal breakdown of the 2017 L'Ermita comes to a majority of Garnacha but with a notable 20% Cariñena and some 2% of white grapes. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats and matured in oak barrels of different sizes for 16 months. The grapes were picked on the 18th of October, which is extremely late considering that 2017 was their earliest harvest ever! It has a surprisingly high percentage of Cariñena, the highest ever for L'Ermita, yet the wine feels like the essence of a Mediterranean Garnacha—floral, expressive, open, insinuating, refined and elegant. It has great depth and refined tannins and feels light on its feet, yet it's full of inner power, intense and persistent. It's detailed, nuanced, clean, transparent, focused and pure. The flavors are very precise and clean and the aftertaste extremely long. A truly great L'Ermita, again, transcending the conditions of the vintage.
The 2013 vintage was a very hard act to follow, as for me it was the best vintage ever, but the 2014 L'Ermita is also extremely impressive. The grapes from the mixed varieties found in the old vines (mostly Garnacha with around 8% Cariñena and 1% white grapes) planted in that north facing, cool amphitheater of Gratallops achieved amazing parameters, 14.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.16 (very low) and 6.3 grams of acidity. The destemmed and lightly crushed grapes always ferment in an oak vat with their natural yeasts followed by malolactic in barrique and an élevage of some 16 months. The grapes were harvested on October 28th, extremely late, but not as late as 2013, which was a record. But, 2014 was not as healthy as 2013 and there was some botrytis. Álvaro Palacios told me he had two guys at l'Ermita vineyard removing rotten grapes from the vines with tweezers for the last twenty-something days before they harvested it. It clearly paid back, as there is no trace of rot; in fact, the wine is ultra clean, floral and subtle, and despite not being light, the high acidity makes it feel a lot more ethereal than it really is. This time I really felt a descriptor Palacios often uses for this wine, pink grapefruit. Its acidity makes you salivate, but there is a silkiness in the texture like no other wine in the collection. Pit fruit, cherry and peach, pomegranate, dried roses, pink peppercorns, wet slate and acid berries. This is a l'Ermita for the long haul and at the helm with the very best vintages, flirting with perfection. Sheer class. 1,440 bottles were filled the 1st of April 2016.
Country: Spain
Region: Catalonia
Appellation: priorat
Producer: Alvaro Palacios

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Alvaro Palacios

More about Alvaro Palacios

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Elected "Man of the Year" by Decanter in 2015 and announced the most sensational winemaker in Spain by The Wine Spectator, Alvaro Palacios is a true enthusiast who...

Onshore Cellars - ICONIC Producer

Elected "Man of the Year" by Decanter in 2015 and announced the most sensational winemaker in Spain by The Wine Spectator, Alvaro Palacios is a true enthusiast who has revolutionised the Spanish wine panorama for the last 30 years, helping to re-establish two regions on the wine map of Spain. Priorat in the late 80’s which was unpopular for wine and very difficult to access due to its steep slopes. Then the Bierzo, 10 years later, an appellation with enormous potential, but with poor soil and old Mencia vines, a grape variety almost forgotten at the time. In 2000, he also took over the family estate in Rioja. The style of Alvaro is found in all his wines: fruity, without heaviness, and perfect drinkability!
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