‘Pétalos’ is the regional expression of ‘Mencia’ grapes from ‘Bierzo’. Aged 10 months in older French oak, it’s a great, accessible wine drawn from nearly 900 plots in the region, from 175 growers plus the ‘Descendientes de J. Palacios‘ own gear. This plush, elegant and floral wine with trademark roses and pepper tree aromas, bright and earthy at once, red fruits with roast meat juice. It’s savoury, elegant, satiny, dry, long, supple with sour cherries and dried sage.
‘Descendientes de J. Palacios’ wines are all based on a pure, mineral slate rock base- some featuring clay and others chalk, and all are bio-dynamic in viticulture. ‘Bierzo’ sits on the northwest boundary of Castile —old soils, very dry, and planted to ‘Mencia’— with the province of ‘Galicia’. Its actual regional location is the province of ‘Léon’. The local grape is ‘Mencia’.
‘Bierzo’ is a basin surrounded by four distinct mountain ranges, from which a number of significant rivers, most notably the ‘Sil’ (Xil in Gallego) carve their way west, draining central Spain to the coast via the low rivers (Rias Baixas) among which the coastal ‘Albariños’ are grown. Along with the complex terroir, altitude and aspect options, keep in mind that ‘Bierzo’ is a fundamentally mixed continental Atlantic climate. ‘Bierzo’ is also historically famous as one of the traditional stops along the pilgrimage route to ‘Santiago de Compostela’.
‘Descendientes de J. Palacios‘ is one of three estates from the family of Alvaro Palacios. Alvaro’s personally named estate, is the leading producer of the great Priorat region southeast of Barcelona. The family ‘home’ is in the great Rioja Baja estate, Palacios Remondo. The ‘Bierzo’ project is their latest. The ‘Descendientes’ (descendants) are Alvaro and his nephew, Ricardo Perez Palacios; both are descendants of Alvaro’s dad, José who died in 2000, just as this project was getting started. The winery is in the village of ‘Villafranca de Bierzo’, below the mountain town of ‘Corullón’.
‘Descendientes de J. Palacios’ commenced in 1999. Their four estate wines are ‘Pétalos, Moncerbal, Las Lamas and La Faraona‘. All are based on a pure, mineral slate rock base – some featuring clay and others chalk. Alvaro and Ricardo have 40 hectares made up of over 300 such individual vineyard parcels, and all are bio-dynamic in viticulture. The region is green and mountainous, with fruit grown between 600-1000 metres of altitude. The resultant wines are fresh, fragrant and deep –juicy, lively and silky. The wines display a mixture of the gamey/meaty along with ravishing floral accents. Round and long fruit tannins harmonizing everything are always a feature. ‘Pétalos’ is from organic and/or bio-dynamic parcels.
Like with any other 100% ‘Bierzo/Mencia’ grape wines, the color of this wine is deep red. Fruity and peppery notes on the nose. Excellent harmony in the mouth with hints of: rose, black cherry and tobacco; the aging of this wine results in a well balance with enough tannins. On the palate, elegant and smooth. This wine pairs nicely with ‘arroces’ (rices), salads and meats. On a scale from 0-10 we give this wine an 8.9 Retail Price Range in the U.S.: $25-30 Overall, is an excellent wine alternative to ‘Riojas’ or ‘Ribera del Dueros’.