Alvaro Palacios first came to Gratallops in 1989, thanks to a group of local producers commited toobtaining the best from Priorat, land characterized by its rugged environment, terraced hillside and old
The region has expanded nearly four times since but Alvaro’s determination to produce the best wines from this difficult terrain has not diminished.The vines are planted mostly on very steep slopes at a high altitude. The roots go down very deep into the schist soil and organic viticulture is practised.
The Camins is Alvaro’s entry level wine here and it is great value for money. The grapes come from a range of climats around Gratallops and from 10 – 50 year old vines planted on terraced slopes. The cepage is 50% Carignena, 40% Garnacha and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and the wine spends 8 months in older French oak barrels.
Les Terrasses is a blend of 60% Carignena, 30% Garnacha and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, with a high proportion of the blend coming from very old vines. After malolactic fermentation, the wine spends 12 months in a mixture of new and old French oak barrels.
Finca Dofi is a single vineyard blend of 55% Garnacha and 45% Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot from fairly young vines but with plenty of complexity. This complexity is enhanced by 19 months ageing in mostly new French barrels.
L’Ermita was first released in 1993 and is considered one of the finest wines from this region. The grapes come from a vineyard of the same name and from vines of 80 – 100 years of age, planted on very steep slopes. It spends 20 months in 100% new French barrels. In 2006, for the first time, the L’Ermita is 100% Garnacha, with a haunting, ethereal quality and delicacy that marks it out as truly special.
Gratallops is a new subappelation in the Priorat region, similar to a village level. Older vines (40 years average) lend complexity to this wine, which also exhibits lovely minerality and a spicy juiciness on the palate. The blend here is 45% Garnacha, 45 % Carignena and 10% Cabernet/Syrah.