Álvaro Palacios


'Vi de la Vila Gratallops' Garnatxa-Samsó 2019


The fruit source is Álvaro’s various holdings in-and-around Gratallops, 8.5 hectares in 10 parcels other than Finca Dofi and L’Ermita. The wine’s composition for the first vintages (2007 on) was roughly 1/3 each of Garnacha, Samsó and Cabernet. From 2011, it’s Garnacha with about 15% old-vine Samsó and some white. De-stemmed, spontaneous fermentation in open wooden vat, macerated 40 days, 16 months in mid-sized French oak, 1-2 years old. Unfiltered.

Gratallops is a lovely pale pomegranate colour. The nose is equally balsamic and floral, reflecting the astringent oils of its home among Holm Oak, Mediterranean Pines, Lavender and more. Beneath, a lash of Llicorella’s ashy earth. Strung through these botanicals are the delightful, pretty-pulpy red cherry and red apple fruits of Priorat Garnatxa, with a tell of blood orange flesh and rind. It’s a beautifully balanced wine with great fluidity through persistent gentle tannins and spicy-acid in a grapefruit citric tangy finish. Less glyceric than ‘Grenache’, this is a crystalline, crisp, clear expression of Garnacha via the mineral, smoky freshness of the llicorella. Pure, inviting, persistent and gentle.