FINCA LA MONTESA
90% Garnacha 10% Traditional Varieties
Alvaro Palacios has spent decades pioneering a new order of fine wine across Spain. He has created some of the country’s most iconic wines by championing terroir and native grapes whose potential had been long overlooked and untapped.
Palacios Remondo is his family’s Rioja estate, tucked in the far eastern corner of the Oriental district. The story in this rugged, high-altitude scrubland is about Garnacha—the territory’s traditional variety and also one of Alvaro’s biggest passions. By focusing on elevating Garnacha-driven wines that are expressive of and authentic to this stunning side of Rioja, Alvaro is continuing to reshape the future of Spanish fine wine.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
Rioja Oriental is blessed with a warm, dry Mediterranean-influenced climate (unlike Rioja’s west, where the climate is more continental). The soils comprise alluvial deposits of volcanic rock, quartz, and sandstone, interspersed with carbonate and clay-ferrous colluvial materials including lime and sand. At varying depths lies a layer of poor, petrocalcic horizon—with its trademark white color—prized by many for its ability to impart a mineral-driven finesse to the wine.
Rioja’s eastern-most district is often described as flatter than its western counterpart but make no mistake—there is significant elevation here. The La Montesa vineyard is planted to Garnacha (average age 35 years; both head trained and Double Cordon Royat) and other traditional varieties at an ideal east-southeast exposure in the foothills of Mount Yerga at 550 meters/1,804 feet above sea level. Alvaro and his team farm this vineyard organically and there is no irrigation.
Harvest—all done by hand with very strict grape selection in the vineyard—began on Sept. 14 and finished on Oct. 15, 2020. The 2020 growing season in Rioja Oriental was very good; a rainy spring gave way to a hot summer and, at these altitudes, ripening occurred slowly and evenly.WINEMAKING & AGING
Grapes were quickly transported to the winery in Alfaro, where the grapes were destemmed and crushed. Maceration lasted 35 days and the native yeast co-fermentation took place in inox vats with pump over. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats before being transferred to oak barriques for 12 months. Bottled unfiltered.TASTING NOTES
An elegant wine with juicy-ripe strawberry, raspberry and cherries, edged by baking spice and wildflower/herbal notes. The palate is fresh and vibrant, balanced by soft tannins and a silky-smooth texture.