Descendientes de J. Palacios

IMG_0270[1]Wine Spectators list of the Top 100 wines for 2012 is out and the mad scramble to drink as many of these wines as you can afford is on. Surprisingly many of these wines are very affordable.

My first acquisition was number 57 on the list Descendientes de J. Palacios.

The wine maker is Alvaro Palacios who is a leader in the modern era of Spanish wine. It’s from the Bierzo region in the North West portion of Spain. The grape is Mencia, which is completely new to me. It tastes like a lite version of Cabernet Franc to me. The wine is from 60 year old vines and was aged in French oak for 10 months. The wine has an alcohol level of 14% but is very well hid.

I had great expectations for this wine, having driven to New York to buy, not a drop of it could be found in Connecticut. At first I was disappointed. The wine had great color. However, only a slight nose, what there was, is good, but you really had to work to find it. Flavor was good as I said reminded me of a very lite Cabernet Franc. I have found Spanish wines to be like that, lighter than say French or Italian wines of the same style. No finish that I could detect.

I was going to say the wine lacked Character until it hit me, this wine is like Evan Taylor the young musical prodigy in the movie August Rush. Easy to ignore when you first meet it, but then genius comes out. The uniqueness of the wine really does remind me of Evan, plain, ordinary, until he plays music. The wine is the same, if you just drink it, it’s a pleasant enough experience, but give it a little time and the genius of Alvaro Palacios comes out.

The Mencia grape adds a new dimension to my wine experience. I would defiantly look for other wines made from this grape.

With 50,000 cases of this wine made it should be easier to find than it was. Look for this one early because I think it will soon be gone. Decanter or open several hours or a day before you plan to drink. The wine really tasted better the second day.

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