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2011 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Villa de Corullon

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2011 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Villa de Corullon

Single Bottle - Standard - 750ml


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Tasting Notes:

Fragrant, with floral, berry, cherry and wild herb aromas and flavors, this expressive red is supple, racy and long. Muscular yet elegant. Drink now through 2021. 1,500 cases made.

Tasting Notes:

The 2011 Corullon nearly jumps from the glass in an explosion of violets, ripe peaches and acid strawberry, the fruit darker, a touch riper, with some organic notes of humus and peat, even mushroom. You can drink it now to enjoy the exuberant, exotic profile of the wine or let it rest for three years and enjoy later. It has superb precision and length. Corullon also benefits from blending different vineyards. Drink 2016-2026.Descendientes de Jose Palacios is the name of the Palacios family winery from Rioja in Bierzo. Ricardo Perez Palacios is on site, while his uncle Alvaro Palacios spends his time between Priorat and La Rioja. Well, that’s when he’s not in Russia, Singapore, or the US selling and showing the wines from the three wineries. They produced their first wine in 1999 using the Castro Ventosa facilities thanks to Raul Perez until they had their small winery in Villafranca del Bierzo. They have wildly overgrown their capacity there so they have decided to commission a new winery up in the Corullon mountains, where their vineyards are located, integrated into a slope of the Moncerbal zone that will be executed by star architect Rafael Moneo. Ricardo expects to be able to produce the 2015 vintage in the new winery, and he’s very much looking forward to it, as they have great difficulties working right now. They own close to 40 hectares of vineyards and employ 22 people, the majority working in the vineyards. They follow biodynamics, out of pure conviction; I was visiting them with a group of Portuguese wine producers a decade ago, when biodynamie was very trendy. We spent the whole day with Ricardo, and he did not even mention the word. He now lives it full-time, and has moved to a biodynamic farm in Corullon where they have their animals and offer courses on agriculture, cheese making and so on. As for the wines, they are different from the rest of the Bierzo; they have to be, because their very old vineyards are located in the village of Corullon, high up in the mountains, some of them at 1,200 meters altitude on slate slopes where they yield minuscule quantities of grapes. They also carry out very detailed work, both in the vineyards and in the winery, and the result shows. The wines have the purity and clean rusticity of the Cornas from Clape, and if you push me, I’d also say they also have a similar texture. 2010 and 2011 are very different in character. The 2011s jump out of the glass, but you really need to coax the 2010s out. I believe 2010 will develop superbly, but it will be a vintage similar to 2001 that will take a long time to really show its best. The 2010s are probably going through a difficult phase at the moment, as they have started to close down, and will need some years in bottle. 2011 has more instant appeal, while 2010 is a more intellectual year. 2010 is a great vintage, with elegance, acidity, minerality and power, a little reminiscent of 2001 in this winery, when the wines have aged very well. Ricardo is really excited about the latest vintages, and he tells me that his all-time favorite vintages are 2010, 2011 and 2012, together with 2001. What I tasted is a superb collection of wines. Imported by Mannie Berk, Rare Wine Company, Sonoma, CA; tel. (800) 999-4342;

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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. He ultimately decided, in 1990, on Priorato, where he would achieve worldwide fame with "L'Ermita" and "Finca Dofi." But there had been a close contender: Bierzo. It had all the ingredients that Alvaro wanted - incredibly steep hillside vineyards, distinctive terroirs and, most importantly, ancient vineyards of Mencia - a unique red grape believed brought by French pilgrims during the Middle Ages. In Pursuit of the Dream. The idea of making great wine from old-vine Mencía never left Alvaro, and his experience in Priorato - particularly with L'Ermita - convinced him of Bierzo's enormous potential. Meanwhile, his nephew Ricardo Perez had finished enological studies in Bordeaux and was travelling across France - absorbing everything he could about great wines. He worked the harvest at Château Margaux, and did internships at other Bordelais firms like Moueix (Pétrus, Trotanoy, etc.). He also visited Alvaro frequently and came to share a belief in Bierzo's potential. In 1998, the two decided on a joint venture and set out in search of the region's finest old vineyards.