A complicated vintage which promises great results
2019 En Primeurs: Álvaro Palacios, Descendientes de J. Palacios, Bodegas Palacios Remondo
Álvaro Palacios (Priorat)
Gratallops recorded just a mere 280 litres of rainfall over the course of this vintage, and almost half of this amount actually fell back in October 2018 before the severe drought set in. Temperatures tended to be high, with almost record levels, even in the depths of winter. Early summer saw the thermometer reach 43 degrees
Vines in Priorat suffered immensely and some of the Carignan plants could not resist the conditions, leading to an overall drop in grape production in the area in general. However, Grenache vines unexpectedly managed to do well, with their nature moderating their growth so as to survive and produce a relatively good harvest.
Grapes were exceptionally healthy and ready to collect earlier than usual. We are beginning to see that the resulting wine, the product of small and concentrated grapes, has a powerful structure and forceful acidity thanks to the efforts of generous vines in withstanding extreme conditions.
Descendientes de J. Palacios (Bierzo)
The changing sky of an eternal spring
A rollercoaster of a year climate-wise, but with an early harvest of perfectly ripe grapes. Winemakers cannot remember such an unstable year ever since they began cultivating vines on the hillsides of Corullón.
February was excessively dry and whimsically changeable. Some days saw freezing temperatures and snow, whereas others experienced bright sunshine and temperatures climbing as high as 24 degrees. Mists were present for weeks on end, but then bright clear skies opened up again. The vintage seemed to be going through a never-ending always-changing spring.
The end of June recorded very high temperatures though they affected Bierzo less than Priorat and Rioja. The month of August was quite a typical one for the Mediterranean and September brought back the dry conditions. The vine plants managed to adapt very well to the constant changes and produced healthy grapes bursting with life which went on to become wines with an extraordinary structure, unbeatable acidity and a world of subtle aromas promising a long life.
Bodegas Palacios Remondo (Rioja)
Harsh conditions shape its character
The vines managed to overcome a year of extreme conditions thanks to a relationship with their surroundings created over the years and winegrowing methods based on traditional practises which helped them cope with the aridity and high temperatures Rioja Oriental had to face in 2019.
The year’s rainfall was a paltry 360 litres, indicating a very harsh dry period. The winter months were dry with unusual temperature highs of over 20 degrees. The area experienced a scorching heat-wave between 28 and 30 June with temperatures reaching figures over 40 degrees and unbearably hot nights. The vines suffered immensely under these conditions, but they resisted stoically.
The early harvest gathered small and concentrated grapes with a balanced phenolic maturity. The resulting wine is beginning to offer impressive results with its strong structure and unusual acidity, indicating a quality of flavours difficult to have foreseen.