Alvaro Palacios is not the sole force behind the revival of Priorat, but he has become the pin-up producer of the region. Effectively he makes his own Burgundian classification of wines - a single barrel of the famed and elusive L'Ermita (Grand Cru), the single vineyard Finca Dofi (Premier Cru), wines from a single village Gratallops (Village wine) and the entry level; Camins de Priorat.
Álvaro's work on redefining the Priorat classification has been very important in helping to elevate individual villages and vineyards in this region. The early use of international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon is eschewed in favour of local varieties. The focus now is very much on Garnacha and Cariñena (locally known as Samsó), both much better suited to expressing the characteristics of this rugged terroir and its licorella soils. Álvaro's Priorat wines are elegant, always profoundly layered, mineral, and expressive
Opaque ruby. High-pitched aromas of red fruit liqueur, pipe tobacco, sweet and sauvory spice. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering sweet, deeply concentrated raspberry and floral pastille flavors that show outstanding vivacity and thrust. Closes with a floral and red berry character and harmonious tannins that add gentle grip.
The single-vineyard 2020 Finca Dofí comes from the 14 hectares of vines planted across three parajes (lieu-dits) in Gratallops, a blend of 83% Garnacha, 12% Cariñena, 4% Picapoll—a grape with low sugar and high acidity (good for climate change) that he regrafted some four years ago—and 1% white grapes: Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo, all fermented in oak vats with 10% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in large oak barrels (bocoyes and foudres) for 15 months. It has good ripeness, 14.5% alcohol and a soft texture with nice balance, good freshness and fine tannins. 18,778 bottles and some other larger and smaller formats produced. It was bottled in May 2022. 96pts, Wine Advocate