Nine years ago, two events converged: Le Du’s opened its doors, and a previously unknown region in the northwest of Spain became a sexy hot spot in the world of wine. That region was Bierzo, home of alluring Atlantic influenced wines made from the Mencia grape, of which we have stocked on our shelves since 2005. We were not alone in our admiration of Bierzo:
New York Times writer Eric Asimov characterized these wines as “Beguiling.” Charm and finesse are the key points here.
And if you are looking to be charmed (who isn’t?), then do not miss the 2013 vintage of Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos. While we have been flirting with this wine for almost a decade, the 2013 is particularly elegant and seductive.
Opens with a compelling bouquet of sun dried herbs, cherry peel, and mineral-tinged earth. Fine-polished tannins and a distinct vein of acidity work in concert with flavors of bramble, iron, cherry, and toast. Charming and graceful throughout, the 2013 Petalos is a transparent window into the finesse and harmony of Mencia. The layers of this wine will gain definition with a bit of breathing time.
During the late 1980’s, Alvaro Palacios travelled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers. But his journeys had a second purpose: to find the best place to achieve his goal of making Spain’s greatest wine. After cutting a name for himself in Priorat, Alvaro teamed up with his nephew Ricardo Perez, to make world class wines hailing from Bierzo’s steep slopes. The result has been nothing short of brilliant and the 2013 vintage attests to the Atlantic influence on these wines:
“These were the ideal vines which had been perfectly adapted to the humidity and to the capriciousness of the climate… Elegant, delicate, full of fresh aromatics, floral, with smoky minerality which reminds us of those first vintages, 15 years ago.”
—Ricardo Perez of Descendientes de J. Palacios on the 2013 vintage.