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2017 Bodegas Palacios Remondo "La Montesa" Crianza Rioja SKU #1493246

Price: $15.99

JS 92 RP 92
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Alvaro Palacios has roots that run deep into the soil of Rioja. He was born into one the region's most prestigious winemaking families, the force behind Palacios Remondo, yet his interests have always been grander. Rather than slide simply into a position at the family winery, Alvaro decided to go out and do his own thing for a while. During the '80s he worked in Bordeaux with Jean-Pierre Moueix, then decided to purchase his own winery in Priorat where he worked avidly to help put that region on the map. During that time, Alvaro advocated for the lesser known wine regions of Spain, eventually coming back to the family winery in Rioja. Once home, he set to work using his experiences elsewhere to get the business back on track, while at the same time rethinking exactly what Rioja is about. Today he's considered one of the region's forward-thinking leaders. There's a reason Alvaro Palacios was named Decanter magazine's "man of the year" for 2015. He's completely reimagined what it takes to make top quality Rioja, with the goal of maximizing terroir, cutting back on oak, and showing respect for the land. As a result, the wines from Palacios Remondo have become brighter, livelier, and more expressive since his return, but the best is still yet to come.

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Staff Reviews

  • Kirk Walker
    By: Kirk Walker
    K&L Staff Member
    La Montesa could be one of the greatest ambassadors of Rioja. I know that is a strange and strong assertion. Why do I think that this is the case, Garnacha! Everybody likes Garnacha, how can you not? It has great fruit, intriguing but not dominating spice and herbal tones, and easy going tannins. Alvaro Palcios knows more than a little bit about Garnacha. Palacios Remondo is his family’s estate but in the early 80’s Alvaro headed East to a forgotten wine region called Priorat. Two decades later, with his and others hard work Priorat is one of the most acclaimed regions in Spain. What is one of the most widely planted varietals there, Garnacha! What is one of the greatest wines produced in Spain, L'Ermita. And guess what it is made from? Garnacha. Alvaro understands Garnacha. (I am trying to use Garnacha as much as I can!) Garnacha is traditionally found in Eastern Rioja, which has a very Mediterranean in climate, much warmer and drier than Rioja Alta or Alavesa. To mitigate the heat the best vineyards are planted in the mountains. La Montesa is located on the Southern side of the Yerga Mountains. The soils are stony calcareous origin and the vineyards are planted at 1800 feet. Now that all of the credentials are out of the way, what is the wine like? It is just what you would expect, beautiful red fruit Garnacha. High-toned red berries and fruit with good concentration and richness. The Rioja comes in right behind the fruit and on the periphery of the wine. That burnished quality, the spice, the oak, the well worn leather and hint of earth, it is all there, just in a supporting role. There is a freshness to the wine. The fruit has pop, there is a touch of the calcareous earthiness and enough acidity to tie everything together. It has a good finish and it is there where that hint of Mediterranean herbs starts to peak out. This is a wine that I think any red wine drinker will enjoy, no matter where you started your wine journey and it should spark your curiosity for more Rioja.


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