2018 Alvaro Palacios Priorat Gratallops Vi De Vila
2018 Alvaro Palacios Priorat Gratallops Vi De Vila, Red Blend From Priorat DOCa, Spain
The 2018 Gratallops is a wonderfully balanced and pure wine from Priorat. Silky tannins and lively acidity craft a wine that coats the mouth with elegance and refinement. Excellent.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas.
Priorat is a small, dynamic wine region in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain, whose intense, full-bodied red wines have shot to fame in the past few decades. The classic Priorat wine is made from old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena, and has concentrated aromas of licorice, tar and brandied cherries.
The traditional grape grown in this region is Garnacha (or Grenache). Small plantings of Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are common as well. Wines crafted from Garnacha are often described as intense, rich and powerful. In the Priorat, the wines are especially so, due in part to unique black volcanic soils and long, hot summers.
Red Priorat wine (the region also produces tiny quantities of white and rosé) is exceptional in three key regards. First, it is one of very few world-class wine styles to be based on Grenache – a category in which it is joined only by red Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the top-end wines from California’s Sine Qua Non. Second, it is one of only two styles to hold Spain’s top-tier DOCa classification (the other being Rioja). And third, it has risen from being almost unheard-of on the international wine market to being one of the world’s most expensive wines.
Alvaro Palacios is a wine producer most famous for its Garnacha-based wines from Priorat. Established in 1990 by Alvaro Palacios himself, the winery has been forefront of Priorat’s rise to fame as one of Spain’s most prestigious wine regions.