© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Monday, May 18, 1998
Alvaro Palacios, Gratallops, Tarragona
Palacios 1996 Finca Dofi Priorat (barrel sample) - Very dark garnet. Ripe and full cherry-berry fruit aromas and big, fruity and herbal flavors, structured and tannic. Good balance already, but obviously raw and in need of time. Although it will be bottled at the end of summer, Palacios advises holding it for 10 years before drinking.
Palacios 1996 Les Terrasses Priorat (tank sample) - Inky dark garnet. Lovely, though oaky, cherry-brandy scent reflects oaky vanillins and ripe fruit. Full, warm and strong, needs a little time to come together. (To be bottled in May 1998.)
Palacios 1992 Finca Dofi Priorat - Dark garnet, with herbal aromatics and black fruit on the nose; full and balanced flavors, evolving well. A light vintage, perhaps maturing more quickly than most.
Palacios 1995 L'Ermita Priorat - Inky reddish-purple with a "day-glo" bright edge. Herbal as a Priorat hillside, fennel and mint. Deep, brooding black-fruit flavors consistent with the nose, huge yet delicate, big yet subtle. Outstanding.
Clos Mogador (René Barbier), Gratallops, Tarragona
Clos Mogador 1996 Priorat (barrel sample) - Just blended this day for blending the following week, Barbier says it's "traumatized" by the experience and not showing well. Even so, it's a good wine, a blend of 40 percent Garnacha (Grenache), 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 percent Syrah. Inky garnet in color, it's showing good pepper and black-fruit aromas, with lots of big fruit, tart acidity and tannin on the palate.
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