It’s rare that I come across a wine with this sort of pedigree at such an incredible price, but when I do, I let you know about it. The Palacios Remondo Estate was founded by Don Jose Palcios Remondo in 1945 in Alfario in Rioja Baja. Today, the estate is run by Don Jose’s son Alvaro Palacios, and the estate is producing better wines than ever. In fact, the Wine Advocate scored the 2011 version of this wine at 91 points.
Alvaro Palacios is one of the great names in Spanish wine having spent much of the 1990’s producing some of the greatest wines in the Priorat and Bierzo zones……..ask us about those. In 2000, his father passed away and Alvaro returned to his family’s home estate to take over. He immediately began converting all of the vineyards over to organic viticulture and he cut productions levels drastically. His hard work and commitment to quality over quantity is what propelled this estate from mediocrity to magnificence.
Alvaro’s 2011 “La Montesa” comes from a single, hillside vineyard located at 1,800 feet in elevation. The soil of this particular site is composed of clay and rocky calcium subsoil overlain by gravel, much like you find in the famed vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape. Fermented and aged in French and American oak, only 20% new, the resulting wine displays a beautiful, bright, ruby red color followed by a nose of ripe and rich strawberry, kirsch, raspberry, clay, Indian spice and vanilla. The palate is supple, rounded, friendly and savory with a nice mix of juicy red fruits and some complex secondary flavors. It’s delicious enough just to drink without much thought, but it’s also interesting enough to inspire conversation and further contemplation.
It’s interesting to note that we featured the 2010 version of this wine around the same time last year, and it flew out of the store rapidly. When we tasted that vintage, we thought it was the best Rioja value we’d ever encountered. Now that we’ve tasted the 2011, we’ve changed our stance.