As a signature example of both Spanish modern and old school winemaking
methods, this fresh-fruited red represents the vanguard for well-made table
wines in Spain’s blossoming, quality-revolution. Here in the extremely hot wine
country around Alfaro, it’s a desirable combination, which deftly pairs innovation
with deeply rooted tradition. It is modern, in that the updated production style
of minimal, mechanical handling and filtering helps to preserve the brightness
of the wine, balanced with a softer, integrated presence of Oak. The old school
facets are a higher blending proportion of 50% Garnacha Tinta (Grenache)
into the standard Tempranillo base, as well as, incorporating small batches of
finished wine from the previous vintage (max. 15%). Both are typical in this 3rd
La Rioja sub-region called Baja – home to this week’s DéClassé featured wine
from vintner, Bodegas Palacios Remondo.
Winemaker and visionary figure, Alvaro Palacios, has for some time now been
making news in the wine world with his influential strategies of promoting the
development of quality over quantity. As of this Spring, he is the news, in having
been declared Decanter Man of the Year 2015 by the well-regarded journal.
It’s an apt, crowning juncture for a cutting edge winery that purposefully dared,
in a key transition period, to cut output from 200,000 cases of unremarkable
bulk wine to 50,000 of refined grades – a business risk that’s now paying off.
La Vendimia (‘the harvest’) is a solid version of a Spanish Joven designation;
a decidedly young wine, which has been barrel-aged for less than six months.
Here on the arid, rocky slopes of Monte Yerga, the Bodega draws fruit from
240 hectares of 10-40-year-old vines, grown organically, without irrigation, at
some of Rioja Baja’s highest altitudes (+550m). Along with the varietal bottling
of 100% Tempranillo, famously fashioned in the other two La Rioja sub-regions
of Alta and Alavasa, this is as close to a perfect, informal sipping wine that Spain
currently produces. By design, it’s meant to be enjoyed young and year-on-year,
continues to be offered at a modest price-point. That’s very much, still the case!
PALACIOS REMONDO LA VENDIMIA 2014
VINTAGES – Product #674564 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
Sugar Content: D
Made in: Rioja, Spain
By: Bodegas Palacios Remondo
Release Date: August 22, 2015
Consistently well made, this cherry-coloured, fruit-driven wine reveals aromas of
blackberry jam, raspberry and a hint of Garrigue (fragrant, wild Mediterranean
shrubs). Enjoy this on its own or with hearty fare such as Ratatouille, lamb ragout,
or pretty much most BBQ-roasted dishes.