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2013 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Corullon Las Lamas

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2013 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Corullon Las Lamas

Single Bottle - Standard - 750ml

HK$750.00

Tasting Notes:

The 2013 Las Lamas follows the path of the superb 2012, as in the cooler years this warmer vineyard behaves well and has maybe a little more margin for harvesting, while in a warmer vintage the harvest window is quite short. This feels a little like a hypothetical blend of Corullón and Moncerbal, with the consistency of the Corullón and the perfume and minerality of the Moncerbal. It always has an exuberant touch that sometimes makes me think of malt intermixed with some violets. This is both powerful and light. 2,456 bottles produced. The reds from Descendientes de José Palacios are always a field blend of old vineyards where Mencía dominates, but there's always a small percentage of other grapes, even some whites. 2013 and 2014 are quite similar vintages, cool years that will evolve slowly. 2013 was a typical cool year of the Bierzo, rainy and fresh (similar to 2006 and 2007), with a very difficult harvest, where sorting was key (they hadn't used the sorting table for four years); the wines have developed much better than expected. These are wines of finesse, a notch below 2012, perhaps not as complete. They are currently building a new winery between their Moncerbal and Las Lamas vineyards (in the quarter Chao do Pando of the village of Corullón), designed by Rafael Moneo, where they hope to vinify the 2017 vintage. There will be four stories, all by gravity, buried in the hill, with natural temperature (70% of the winery will be underground) and humidity. I tasted all of the vintages of Pétalos del Bierzo since the initial 2003 and none of them were over the hill, although their peak seemed to be at around 8-10 years after the vintage. The 2003 was quite surprising, as it didn't show any heat and showed developed aromas closer to a northern Rhône than a Burgundy. Other than 2003, some of my favorite vintages were 2006, 2010 and 2012. In 2003 they did even longer macerations, thinking about a wine to keep, but later they started with shorter macerations in search of a more drinkable wine.

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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.