152/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Alvaro Palacio – Camins del Priorat 2007
….., There’s somethin’ happenin’ here. What it is ain’t exactly clear….., well…., not true actually. It is quite clear what’s going on in the Priorat! It is a clear example of a unique wine making area in the world, which to 99% produces excellent wines! Do I sometimes get fed up with heavy, powerful, rich, well made wines from this piece of heaven. Yes, I do! It is just the way it is, even I need a lighter wine sometimes, but not tonight! Enjoy!
Founded in 1989 in the town of Gratallops, Alvaro Palacios winery has 25 hectares of vineyards on slopes (costers) and slate terraces, located between 250 and 600 meters above sea level and planted with the varieties Garnacha and Samsó (Carignena, Carignan), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. The annual production is about 195,000 bottles, of which 3,000 correspond to one of the most outstanding red wines from Spain, L’ Ermita.
The winery contains everything needed to produce quality wines, plus a cellar for aging that can hold a thousand Bordeaux barrels. And this is all I’m going to write about Alvaro Palacios winery. Because? Well, there has already been so much written about him, as he was one of the original five that brought Priorat back to life. In stead I’m covering the wine in a little more detail.
Camins del Priorat is made from a blend of 50% Samsó (Carignena), 40% Red Garnacha, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The vineyards are located on steep slopes and terraces of slate floors in the towns of Gratallops, Porrera, Torroja, Les Vilelles, Bellmunt, El Lloar and Poboleda. The spread means the wine gets the best of Priorat. Even though the appellations is small in size, the diversity is rich and the flavor of the wines can change just with some 10 – 15 km. Many microclimates within the microclimate.
After selection of the grapes and maceration, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak vats and is then aged for eight months in French oak barrels and oak vats. I tried this one with marinated tenderloin, which I barbecued and served with a cream mushroom sauce and a potato salad. Worked quite well but I imagine it could work well with a heavy stews or even a rich pasta dish. It was a warm to hot day so I decided to serve it slightly chilled and for me it displayed more of a change as opposed to serving it at “room temperature”. Another 3-4 years in the bottle but hardly more.
Camins del Priorat 2007, 50% Samsó (Carignena), 40% Red Garnacha, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
Bright cherry red color with violet rim. Rich expression of fresh red fruit (cherries, plums, raspberries) with spicy nuances and an attractive mineral note. The mouth has a friendly entry and is very tasty with good balance. This is a well assembled wine that has a fruity finish and invites a second bottle. Ofrtunatelly it is very price worthy, especially considering it is from Alvaro Palacios.
227 to go!