Al­varo Pala­cios

Decanter - - RIOJA -

Al­varo Pala­cios is so much part of the mod­ern in­ter­na­tional es­tab­lish­ment of wine that it may seem odd to in­clude him here. Af­ter all, he has been a leader in build­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of Pri­o­rat and Bierzo and, through them, of Spain as a pre-em­i­nent wine na­tion. Yet the rea­son is clear: wher­ever he goes he de­fends the best in­ter­ests of the vine­yard, and the wine, even in cases where es­tab­lished prac­tice or lo­cal reg­u­la­tion may sug­gest oth­er­wise. Thus it was when he re­turned to the fam­ily win­ery in Rioja Baja/Ori­en­tal. His fa­ther’s fo­cus was mainly on Tem­pranillo, as was usual at the time. In his short time in charge, the pro­file of the wines has changed and Gar­nacha is be­ing re­stored to its right­ful place at the top of the hi­er­ar­chy. In the process, he has cheer­fully put the vil­lage name (Al­faro) on the front la­bel of his wines, even be­fore the DOCa Rioja per­mit­ted it.

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