Descendientes de Jose Palacios
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Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Villafranca del Bierzo, Leon
People: Alvaro & Ricardo Palacios, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic
Alvaro Palacios was already a celebrated producer of Priorat when he teamed up with his nephew, Ricardo Perez, a Bordeaux trained enologist, to fulfill his early passion for making great old vine wine from the Mencia grape. In the estate vineyards around the town of Corullón, Alvaro and Ricardo believe they have found a unique combination of soils, old vines, and a distinctive variety that will yield their own grands crus. Beginning with 2001, the estate began to make their case with individual vineyard bottlings with an emphasis on biodynamic viticulture. The winery is dedicated to Alvaro's father, and Ricardo's grandfather, who passed away in early 2000.
Seven wines are made. The first, Pétalos del Bierzo, is assembled from old hillside and hilltop vines from across Bierzo's western edge. The wine is vinified for immediate appeal, but it retains the estate's signature finesse and restraint. Corullón is an assemblage from old-vine parcels in and around this town. Its combination of generosity and precision makes a case not only for Corullón's special status, but also the superiority of Alvaro's and Ricardo's winemaking. Robert Parker, Jr. said Corullón "may be the finest wine of the appellation." There are, in addition, five extraordinary single vineyard wines made: San Martin, Fontelas, Moncerbal, Las Lamas and La Faraona. Each is a distinctive expression of a remarkable and compelling terroir.
Descendientes de J. Palacios 2013 Pétalos Voted #53 in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2015
"Alvaro Palacios helped build the reputation of one Spanish mountain wine region, Priorat, to international acclaim--and four-figure bottle prices. Then in 1998, he struck out with his nephew Ricardo Perez for an even lesser-known land in the sky: Bierzo, where old vines of the indigenous Mencia grape thrive in harsh schist soils. The Pétalos is sourced from multiple hillside vineyards and serves as an affordable introduction to the region and style."
The Wine Advocate 1/2015
"Descendientes de J. Palacios keep going from strength to strength with a superb collection of 2012s, one of the best vintages in recent history in El Bierzo. Even though all their reds are Mencía-based, the old vineyards contain a mixture of grapes -even some whites- that are used in the wines, as they add complexity and freshness. For Ricardo Pérez Palacios, 2012 and 2001 are his best vintages here, and I think 2012 is probably the best. All the wines are exceptional, but if I had to choose two it would be Corullón and Las Lamas (and Pétalos, of course!), both in their finest vintages. There are no wines in Bierzo like this ones... What I see here is really coherent, a life project with a clear philosophy, not just a collection of (great) wines; Ricardo lives on a biodynamic farm with the animals, they provide agriculture and biodynamic courses, make cheese (he hopes to get his own goats soon), bake bread, grow vegetables, they already produce and sell fruit juices... He's trying to close the circle and use everything from the farm, with some more products slowly coming to the shelves, they are going to start producing 'orujo' (the local name for grappa)... single vineyard 'orujo' even! Stay tuned!"
The Wine Advocate 8/2013
"As for the wines, they are different from the rest of the Bierzo; they have to be, because their very old vineyards are located in the village of Corullon, high up in the mountains, some of them at 1,200 meters altitude on slate slopes where they yield minuscule quantities of grapes. They also carry out very detailed work, both in the vineyards and in the winery, and the result shows."
Wine Spectator: Featured Winemaker, Alvaro Palacios
Decanter.com: Alvaro Palacios, Spanish Wanderer
The Drinks Business: Palacios to Release 'Game Changing' Rioja
Yumivino: Q&A with Ricardo Perez Palacios