2010 Gratallops, Alvaro Palacios

2010 Gratallops, Alvaro Palacios

Product: 20108004947
2010 Gratallops, Alvaro Palacios

Description

This wine, a blend of Garnacha, Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Picapoll, is sourced from six of the nine villages of Gratallops. The 2010 has a dense colour then an attractive nose of forest floor, herbs, dark fruit and garrigue. Garnacha exuberance, albeit dignified, with dense serious grippy tannins and a fresh lively finish.

Alvaro Palacios is a little dismissive of the Romans, who had Taragona as their Catalonian headquarters, because they only planted grapes on the flattest and easiest terrain. The Carthusian monks, on the other hand, knew a thing or two about terroir and the terraced vineyards which they established in the 12th century around the small town of Gratallops still make up the heart of the Priorat Denominacion. Alvaro is eloquent and passionate about the heritage of his vines; monastic mysticism finds preternatural expression in the extraordinarily intense light here, a reward for a location 10 km away from the Mediterranean and over 4000 hours of sunshine a year.  The vineyards are steep and marked by the distinctive licorelle slate soil, the result of ancient tectonic compression of clay-based igneous rock.
Simon Field MW, Fine Wine Buyer
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About this WINE

Alvaro Palacios

Alvaro Palacios

Alvaro Palacios, whose family owns the prestigious Rioja Bodega, Palacios Remondo, spent 2 years at Château Pétrus before setting up on his own in Priorat in 1989. From the outset, he set out to produce world-class wines by using fruit from extremely low-yielding old vines and by applying ultra-modern winemaking techniques.

The cream of the crop is the single vineyard wine L'Ermita, which was first produced in 1993. It is a blend of 80% Garnacha, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cariñena, and is aged in new French barriques for up to 20 months. It is bottled unfiltered. It has intense concentration and enormous depth and a complexity which is simply staggering. Arguably the most individual red wine in Spain, it is certainly now the most expensive.

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Priorat

Priorat

Priorato, or Priorat, is one of the stand-out Spanish wine regions, with an extraordinary leap in wine quality, reputation and price over the 1990s. This small wine appellation, with 1,700 hectares of vines and just over 60 bodegas, lies to the west of the province of Tarragona in Catalonia

It includes the municipalities of Scala Dei, Gratallops and Falset, where vines grow on steep terraces at varying altitudes of 100 to 700 metres. The climate is continental, and the region blessed with an exceptional schistous terroir (mostly llicorella with layers of slate and quartz). This schist is part of the same stratum found in the finest vineyards of the Douro, Toro and Ribera del Duero. It provides ideal conditions for growing vines and also contributes to the much-lauded mineral-rich character of Priorato’s wines.

The region’s wines were revolutionised through the efforts of René Barbier. In 1989 he joined forces with a group of eight other winemakers to produce wine from eight plots (or clos), planting the best grapes using modern methods, and harvesting at extremely low yields. This original group included such distinguished bodegas as Alvaro Palacios (Finca Dofi), Costers del Siurana and Mas Martinet. 

The group later split up, but the legacy and the international acclaim their wines generated has attracted significant interest and investment in the Priorato region. It is now recognised as one of the great fine wine regions in Spain, rivalling Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Priorat wines are typically powerful and full-bodied, with a warm, ripe fruitiness and impressive levels of concentration and minerality. The wines are made in all categories from Joven to Gran Reserva, undergoing the same oak ageing as Rioja.

The efforts of the Barbier group proved that old-vine, low-yielding Cariñena and Garnacha is the most planted variety here, followed by Garnacha. Both provide the backbone of the region’s wines, augmented by international varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.  

White varieties (i.e. Chenin Blanc, Macabeo, Garnacha Blanca, Viognier and Pedro Ximénez) occupy less than five percent of the vineyard area.

Recommended Producers:
Combier Fischer Gerin (Trio Infernal), Clos Figueres, Alvaro Palacios (Finca Dofi)

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Other Varieties

Other Varieties

There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate90/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate90/100
The sensual 2010 Gratallops is sourced from several tiny parcels around the village that lends its name. It is a blend of 65% Garnacha, 15% Samso, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah cropped at just 9 hectoliters per hectare. It has a lovely, sensual bouquet where the Garnacha really shines: boysenberry, lavender, potpourri and a touch of kirsch that are all beautifully defined. You dont know whether to drink it or stroke it. It is showing a little oak at the moment, although it will be subsumed with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy, well-defined entry, blackberry, raspberry, white pepper and a little game vying for attention. The tannins are fine and supple, while the finish is harmonious and caressing. Drink 2015-2025+
Neal Martin - 26/04/2012 Read more