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  • Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi 2019

    £67.49

    “The single-vineyard red 2019 Finca Dofí comes from the 14 hectares of vines planted across three parajes (lieu-dits) in Gratallops. This year, it’s 87% Garnacha, 12% Cariñena and 1% white grapes (Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo. It fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in large oak barrels (bocoyes and foudres) for 14 months. It’s classy, elegant and fresh with very clean aromas and flavors, not lacking concentration or power. There is superb definition and purity here; it has to be the finest and most elegant Dofí to date. It has finer tannins and more elegance than La Baixada this year. The 2018 was fragrant and this has more clout but superb balance. These two vintages have been great for Dofí. I still remember the 2005, hard as nails then and what the wine is now—spherical and velvety. Dofí on a roll… It was bottled in May 2021, and 21,146 bottles were produced. Drink: 2022-2030. 97 points

    Climate is certainly getting extreme, and in Priorat, we saw an incredibly warm (up to 43 degrees Celsius!) and dry 2019 (with only 280 liters of rain) and a 2020 with 800 liters of rain! But so much rain and the warm temperatures can only end up in a huge mildew attack. The rest of the season was extremely warm, to the point that ended it up being their earliest harvest ever! Year of extremes… year in and year out! Both years were higher in Garnacha and lower in Cariñena, in 2019 because of the heat and in 2020 because of mildew. So, the wines are more Garnacha driven than ever. For Álvaro Palacios, the highlights of the 2019 vintage (I only tasted Camins from 2020) were the Finca Dofí and L’Ermita. The Dofí was classy, elegant and fresh with very clean aromas and flavors, but L’Ermita was truly captivating, quite different from the 2013, an extreme year, perhaps in an opposite way but truly exceptional. It deserved my highest rating, as my heart started beating faster as I put my nose in the glass. Bravo!”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/21)

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  • Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses 2018

    £34.99

    “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)

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