2001 A. Palacios "L'Ermita" Priorat
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The flagship offering, the 2001 l’Ermita, is produced from 60-year old, head-pruned Grenache (85%) vines and 15% old vine Carignan and younger vine Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields were a meager 15 hectoliters per hectare in 2001. This 500-case cuvee, aged in 100% new French oak, represents the essence of Priorat as well as this particular vineyard source. Alvaro Palacios practices malolactic fermentation in barrel, and bottling after an egg white fining and no filtration. The black/purple-colored 2001 boasts an extraordinary aromatic profile of charcoal, blackberries, raspberries, kirsch, melted licorice, and espresso. Full-bodied and unctuously-textured, with sweet tannin and abundant quantities of fruit as well as glycerin, this is a remarkably well-balanced wine of great intensity and formidable aging potential. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(old-vines garnacha with a bit of cabernet from the Dofi vineyard added to bring more structure) Bright ruby-red. Discreet but nuanced nose hints at black fruits and flowers; quite subdued today. Then explosive in the mouth: huge, suave, deep and layered, with powerful yet somewhat cool black fruit, mineral and graphite flavors. This really expands to fill the mouth. Wonderfully concentrated wine that's not at all heavy. Finishes very broad and rich, with noble tannins and great persistence. Still a baby, and likely to merit an even higher score six or eight years down the road. (ST)
Aromatic and alluring, this red shows an elegant style for the region. Blackberry, vanilla and mineral flavors are fresh and balanced; the tannins are ripe and well-integrated. Not a blockbuster, but has intensity and length.