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Alvaro Palacios 2016 vintage preview

Sarah Jane Evans MW tastes the latest wines from Alvaro Palacios...

Alvaro Palacios might be expected to take a step back, given the recent accolades of Decanter’s 2015 Man of the Year and the Institute of Masters of Wine’s 2016 Winemaker of the Year.

His celebrity status means he is in ever greater demand to represent his portfolio worldwide, yet his commitment to pushing forward on quality in the vineyard remained evident at the 2016 en primeur tasting in London (or, as he sensibly prefers to call it, ‘the wine tasting of the 2016 vintage in advance’).

Scroll down for Sarah Jane’s Alvaro Palacios 2016 tasting notes

2016 was an exceptional year in Priorat. Just 35 litres of rain fell between June and September, but the vines are well adapted and the result has been wonderfully aromatic wines with lively freshness.

There were periods of drought in Rioja also, but the Garnacha tolerated it and the proof is in Quiñón de Valmira’s lovely aromatics.

Alvaro Palacios’ nephew Ricardo Pérez Palacios, working in Bierzo under the Descendientes de J Palacios label, did not lack for rain, by contrast.

A cool, straightforward summer led to what is known as an Atlantic vintage with the wines showing fine elegance.

Sarah Jane’s Alvaro Palacios 2016 tasting notes:

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