Descendientes de J. Palacios – Pétalos 2015
Living where I do, I know the wines of Álvaro Palacios very well as his winery is one of the most dominant in the region. Something like 15% of all the grapes grown in DOQ Priorat, pass through his cellar–that’s some serious business there. And his top three wines: l’Ermita, Les Aubagetes, and Finca Dofí, are all excellent wines even if the prices are essentially impossible to swallow for most of us. The mid-range Gratallops Village wine I find generally good, but the two lower-end wines of Camins del Priorat and Les Terrasses usually don’t interest me much and I find them quite overpriced for what they are.
It was for this reason that I’d somewhat avoided the Pétalos wine of Álvaro’s other project with his cousin, Ricardo Pérez in DO Bierzo called, Descendientes de J. Palacios. As it turns out, the profile of this wine does not follow in the same vein as those introductory wines from Priorat despite the fact it’s lower priced than either of them. It turns out I was mistaken to not be have gotten into this wine earlier as it’s a fine representation of what is possible in both Bierzo as well as with the grape Mencía.
The comparison is often made that those who like Pinot Noir from France will like Mencía from Spain. That’s a bit of a stretch as the grapes are uniquely dissimilar from one another but I get the point in that Mencía is a lighter grape in terms of structure as well as alcohol and I’ve tasted enough of them at this point to very much enjoy what comes from there. Is this is a “Burgundian wine”? Not by any means as it’s coming from Spain but it can indeed be quite elegant and it’s nice to see that another red grape from Iberia has managed to get traction beyond the more well-known Tempranillo.
Ruby with light garnet crest. Tart red strawberry, anise seed, crunchy chalk, cured cherries, and underlying spicy kirsch kick. Crisp red fruit on the palate, savory medium plus acidity and quite tasty with good lift despite being a bit hollow in the middle of the finish.
100% Mencía 14% 13€