2013 Les Terrasses Alvaro Palacios



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Average critic rating : 93.0 points

93

93

The 2013 Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes, from a rainy year and a late harvest that resulted in perfect ripeness and low yields, is a blend of 55% Garnacha and 45% Cariñena. You might find labels and literature referring Cariñena to as Samsó, something that is wrong and creates confusion since Samsó is the Catalan name for Cinsault. The grapes are sourced from different villages (Gratallops, La Vilella Baixa, Bellmunt, El Lloar, El Molar, Porrera, Scala Dei, Torroja and Poboleda) all of them grown on schist llicorella soils, fermented in a combination of oak and cement vats with natural yeasts and matured in barrique for one year. It has a meaty nose with aromas that transported me to the Northern Rhône, showing smoky bacon intermixed with violets and really well-integrated oak resulting in a very fine and elegant impression. It seems more refined than other vintages of Les Terrasses, lighter and more elegant with none of the volatility or oak of yesteryear. It is really fine, polished and is without edges. Somehow within the Atlantic vintage you can see the Mediterranean character. Awesome Terrasses and good value for Priorat. 95,500 bottles produced.||I tasted with Álvaro Palacios a few days after bottling the 2013s, as I had to taste the Riojas from the family winery Palacios Remondo, so we did Rioja and Priorat at the same time. The wines might be suffering a bit from the operation, but it's clearly an exceptional vintage. While 2012 is Mediterranean, 2013 is truly Atlantic. Lively and fresh wines. 2013 L'Ermita is other worldy, without a doubt a 100-pointer. I visited the vineyard twice this year and the work they do there is unbelievable, the vines are manicured! Other than the exceptional l'Ermita, 2013 in general might be their best vintage ever. | From 2015 there will be a new wine here, from a north-facing vineyard he bought in 2013, the best vineyard that had always contributed to Terrasses. The owner retired and the sons wanted to sell, so he jumped at the opportunity. So there will be a new single-vineyard wine called Aubaguetes from the village of Bellmunt. It will be mostly Garnacha with some 2% Cariñena form the usual llicorella soils. I tasted through 2013 and 2014, which will not be commercially released, and the wine is completely different, it has a peachy nose, and a different personality to the rest of mostly Gratallops wines. The price is still undecided, but it will be above Dofí. eRobertParker.com.June, 2015

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