Alvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat 2022, DOQ Priorat, Spain

40% Garnacha, 30% Samsó, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah. A combination of estate vineyards and purchased grapes. All the vineyards are in and around the village of Gratallops. The grapes are destemmed and softly crushed. Fermentation is in stainless steel, cement and large wooden vats. Remontages and punching down. Aged 8 months in barrels and vats (no new). Ripe, juicy and somewhat balsamic, it shows a Priorat character that is highly drinkable with fine tannins and pungent flavors. Effusive sour-cherry and floral nose that pulls you into the orbit of this remarkably charming and lively, medium-bodied Priorat red that’s a joy to drink right now. Lovely freshness on the long, clean finish. From the Priorat region, located west of Barcelona, close to Spain’s eastern coast. Rugged hillsides laced with ancient vineyards. Alvaro Palacios studied enology in Bordeaux, while working under Jean-Pierre Moueix at Chateau Pétrus. He credits his tenure at Pétrus for much of his winemaking philosophy and for showing him ‘the importance of great wines.’ Alvaro could have returned to the security of his family’s domaine. But instead, he was drawn to the remote and seductive Priorat, 60 miles from Barcelona. With its unique terroir of steep hills and terraces Alvaro believed that here he could make a wine that evoked both Pétrus and Grange. With Camins, Alvaro found the opportunity to create something special that is affordably priced, but which also stays true to his vision of Priorat – powerful but elegant, approachable but restrained.