1998 Alvaro Palacios "L'Ermita" Priorat

SKU #1161835 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The blockbuster, opaque purple-colored 1998 L'Ermita (the finest since the 1995 and 1994) exhibits a full-bodied personality with copious quantities of sweet oak, a boatload of glycerin, and superb blackberry, cassis, and cherry fruit that explodes on the mid-palate and in the finish. The elevated quantities of new oak should become better integrated as the wine ages over the next 15-20 years. This is an exceptionally impressive/expressive wine. (RP)  (8/2001)

93-96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Multidimensional nose combines snappy berries and cherry, nut skin, lead pencil, menthol and a floral topnote. Lush and utterly suave, with impressive extract; packed with explosive, mouth-drenching fresh berry flavors; like a dry creme de cassis. Brilliant balancing acidity gives this wine superb clarity and class. Finishes with lush, palate-dusting tannins. A great vintage for Priorato's single finest bottling. (ST)  (9/2000)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Plush on the midpalate yet firm on the finish, this concentrated Spanish red delivers plenty of ripe fruit and toasty oak, balanced and rich. International style in its texture and polish, yet the flavors are distinctive and typical for the region. (TM)  (11/2001)

Jancis Robinson

 Some torrefaction on the nose but masses of extract and rigour on the palate. Long and well balanced with quite remarkable extract. Opened out to minerality on the nose. 18.5/20 Score (JR)  (7/2004)

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Price: $299.99
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- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.