Alvaro Palacios, Finca Dofí 2021 DOCa Priorat, Spain

If anyone embodies the promise and spirit of ‘The New Spain’, it’s Alvaro Palacios. One of nine children born to the owners of Rioja’s respected Palacios Remondo, Alvaro studied enology in Bordeaux, while working under Jean-Pierre Moueix at Chateau Pétrus. He was drawn to the remote and seductive Priorat, 60 miles from Barcelona, which had been one of Spain’s important pre-Phylloxera wine regions. With its unique terroir of steep hills and terraces Alvaro believed that here he could make a wine that evoked both Pétrus and Grange. He acquired his first vineyard, Finca Dofí, in 1990. This is a single vineyard with an average vine age of 20 years. One of the first 5 great “clos” that catapulted the Priorat to fame. The vineyard is a “u” shape with exposures to the south and north. Soil: Schist. Viticulture: Everything is done by hand. Harvest is done in many passes to get optimal fruit. Organic and biodynamic. Vinification: 25 day maceration. Fermentation in oak vats with punch down. Malolactic fermentation in barrel. Aging: Aged in oak for 16 months: 80% of which was used to age Camins and 20% one year old. Varietal: Grenache. Álvaro has been instrumental in introducing the Burgundian ideas of Villages and Cru to Priorat. In 2006, he began to elaborate separately a collection of old vineyards from throughout the township of Gratallops to extend and commercialize this idea. Gratallops is the central village of Priorat, and this bottling today synthesizes both the town’s and the region’s qualities in a single bottling.