the spanish aquisition

Palacios Remondo, D.O Rioja (Rioja Baja)

Palacios Remondo is the family estate of Alvaro Palacios (who also has outstanding estates in Priorato and Bierzo). Alvaro, along with Telmo Rodriguez & Peter Sisseck (Pingus), is one of the rock stars of modern Spanish winemaking. Like the others, he's no super-charged sugar-&-oak freak, however. It's all about the vineyard - great old-vines, beautifully composed fruit reflecting the smells and flavours of the earth in the finished wine. Palacios Remondo is an estate given to Garnacha and Tempranillo in equal measure, plus a little white from Viura, and little bits of Mazuelo (aka Carinena or Carignan) and Graciano - the traditional blending agents, along with Garnacha, which Riojanos use with Tempranillo.

The Palacios estate is of 240 hectares, still quite high up at about 550m in the foothills of the Yerga mountain range. It's in the east, in the province of Alfaro. Soils are coarse clay/chalk, stony and poor. Rainfall low at 360mm. The project is to reflect soil minerality in the wine, avoid over-cooked fruit character and retain a sense of lively fresh elegance.

A minimum of mechanical handling in the winery is a dramatic counterpoint to the oxidative tendencies of Rioja in the past - as is the care of husbandry in the vineyard.

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