Palacios Remondo - La Montesa label
Palacios Remondo - La Montesa bottle

Palacios Remondo - La Montesa 2017

Red Wine

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Item# 97244-17

Estate

If anyone embodies the promise and spirit of “The New Spain,” it is winemaker Alvaro Palacios. Born into a wine family in Rioja, he now makes wine in three different appellations: Priorat, Bierzo, and his hometown of Alfaro in Rioja. Alvaro’s flagship Priorat wine, L’Ermita, is one of the most coveted wines in all of Spain. Following his great successes in Priorat and Bierzo during the 1990s, and the death of his father in 2000, Alvaro Palacios took the helm of Palacios Remondo, his family’s property and winery in Rioja Baja.

Vineyard

Located at an altitude of 1,800 feet, Palacios Remondo’s vineyards are grown at some of the highest points in Rioja. The 30-year-old head-trained vines are hand-harvested, grown organically, and very narrowly spaced (3,000 plants per hectare). Soil is comprised of sediments that stem from the Quaternary Era, consisting of clay and a stony-calcareous subsoil, covered in stones, with excellent drainage. Very low in organic material and with a moderated basic pH, the soil is perfect for growing high quality fruit. By dry-farming and dropping close to 40% of their fruit, Palacios Remondo ensures only the highest quality fruit is picked during harvest.

History

The Palacios Remondo winery history stretches back five generations when the D.O.C. Rioja was first gaining notoriety as one of the premier winemaking regions of the world. José Palacios Remondo, father of renowned winemaker Alvaro Palacios, reestablished the estate in 1945. Alvaro Palacios, born at his family’s winery in Alfaro, became one of Spain’s winemaking pioneers for his successes in Priorat and Bierzo and was recently voted Decanter Magazine’s Man of the Year (March, 2015). In 2000, upon his father’s death, Alvaro assumed responsibility for Palacios Remondo, and committed to taking the estate’s quality to new heights. Under his inspired leadership, Palacios Remondo is now a rising star of Rioja.

Technical data

Age of vines: 32 years.
Planting density of vines: 1,214 vines per Acre / 3,000 vines per Ha.
Pruning style: Double cordon Royat and bush wines.
Irrigation: No.
Green harvesting: Yes, just one bunch by vine shoot.
Harvesting: Hand.
Alcoholic fermentation: Spontaneous in inox vats and pump over. Native yeast.
Maceration: 35 days.
Malolactic fermentation: Stainless steel vats.
Ageing: 12 months in barrels.
Clarification: Yes.
Cold stabilisation: No.
Filtering: Unfiltered.

Vintage

As in recent years, the late arrival of the seasons meant a delayed but intense winter in our vineyard on the foothills of the Yerga mountains. The ongoing frosts, the unusually abundant rainfall, and the persistent snow on the highest elevations of the Sistema Ibérico mountains set the trend for the winter season right until the arrival of spring, when high temperatures brought budding forward - 25 days earlier than in the previous vintage. Fortunately, our vineyards escaped the intensely severe frosts on April 27 and 28 that affected virtually all of Europe’s most important wine regions to a greater or lesser extent. In the easternmost part of Rioja, higher than average temperatures brought flowering forward (to May 20 in La Montesa) with no problems in terms of fruit setting. During the first half of the summer, sequential rainfall fed our soils with the right amount of water for the vines to develop perfectly. Water stress was in perfect balance until August: the 39 litres of rain registered that month were not absorbed by the plant as the downpour came in the form of a storm. The first symptoms of stress were noticeable. Coupled with the high temperatures on the second half of August and early September, plants were forced to retain some water from the bunches in order to survive. The first estimates indicated a 15% drop in yields with regards to the entire harvest. The early vintage brought the harvest date forward to the earliest in 20 years. On September 8, around 20 days earlier than the usual date, we started to pick grapes. Under such uncertain circumstances, we proceeded with caution. The warm summery weather during the daytime was followed by a severe drop in temperatures at night time until October 12, when we finished grape harvesting on the higher parts of the estate. As plants were suffering from water stress at the end of the summer, sap stopped flowing so sugar levels were kept under check. Although acidity was slightly lower, the cooler nights traced between the strong skin and the dense pulp of the berries, a master template plot that contains and shows the great wealth of this vintage grenache. The sensation of firmness is amazing and the wine appears savory, clean and exquisitely harmonious. It is the expression of an unique vintage bathed by sunlight.