Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses 2018


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“The 2018 Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes is a blend of 55% Garnacha with 44% Cariñena and 1% white grapes. The destemmed and lightly crushed grapes fermented in concrete and oak vats with indigenous yeasts, and the wine matured in barriques for 13 months. It keeps the more rustic side of their wines but with the finesse of 2018. It’s a wine marked by a high percentage of Cariñena, but it’s velvety and fresh but with the dustier tannins, harmonious. This is the British farmer, rustic but elegant with his Land Rover, the Wellington boots, corduroy trousers and a Barbour jacket … but with a Priorat twang. Drink: 2020-2028. 94 points

Álvaro Palacios is on a roll with the 2018s, which are impressive across the range, not only in Priorat but in Bierzo and Rioja too. In Priorat, he has 47 hectares of vineyards, 42 of them in the village of Gratallops. Like what happened with Rioja, they saw a return to more normal conditions with the 2018 vintage, more classic weather. Palacios calls it a “reunion” with snow, which he says always seems to bring something magic. There was more rain in the spring and the dry, Mediterranean summer, with a special moment during the harvest when heavy rains appeared, so he decided to wait and give time for the grapes to soak it up; the alcoholic degree went down and the wines also have more acidity. 2018 has something of 2010, 2012 and 2016 but with more finesse, 2018 being a more powerful but more elegant version of 2016, which are the two most elegant vintages of recent times for Palacios. There is a little more Cariñena in most of the wines from 2018. Also, there is a new wine in 2018, La Baixada. 2019 is a unique year, highly concentrated, like a warm and dry version of the already unique 2013. Annual production averages 415,000 bottles.”

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (06/20)