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Rioja Oriental is blessed with a warm, dry Mediterranean-influenced climate (unlike Rioja’s west, where the climate is more continental). The soils, formed by carbonate sedimentation with diverse colluviums containing deposits of volcanic ophite, quartz, and sandstone, covered with carbonate clay, sand, and silt. At varying depths, there is a poor, cold horizon containing petrocalcic calcium (calcium carbonate) with a distinctive white color—this is 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 grapes for Propiedad represent the pinnacle expressions of Palacios Remondo’s terroir and come from three estate vineyards: Las Mulgas, Valviejo and Corral Serrano Viejo.
The soils between 0.5 and 2 meters thick are from the Quaternary Period, formed by carbonate sedimentation with colluviums of very diverse origin, containing volcanic ophite, quartz, sandstone, etc. covered with carbonate clay, sand, and silt. The exposure is east/northeast on the Yerga Mountain slopes with vineyard heights reaching between 400-640 meters (1,321-2,099 feet) above sea level with a vine age of 30-94 years old. The grapes were harvested between Sept. 28th and Oct. 6th.
The grapes were destemmed, crushed, and fermented with native yeasts in wooden vats with gentle cap immersion. Maceration took place over 35 days followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrel. Aging was 10 months in fudres and bocoyes (wooden cask) followed by fining but no filtration.
Propiedad is quite elegant but has remarkable concentration. Dried herbs, strawberry, blueberry, and baking spices ripple over subtle earthy notes and fine-grained tannins. The palate is seamless and beautifully balanced, sporting a mineral verve and seductive mouthfeel. Will age beautifully for a decade or longer.
The old-vine Garnacha 2017 Propiedad was produced with grapes coming from organically farmed vineyards in Las Mulgas, Valfrío, Valviejo and Corral de Serrano in Alfaro, vineyards that are organically farmed. The destemmed and crushed grapes fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured in larger oak vats (mostly 5,000-liter) for 12 months. It has the Mediterranean profile of the vintage with some jovial notes of orange peel and red cherries intermixed with aromatic herbs. The palate reveals fine-grained, slightly dusty tannins. The palate has more freshness than what you expect from the notes on the nose. This wine has a good evolution in bottle even in warmer years like this or 2015.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points
A super elegant and silky Rioja with delicate red fruit and milk chocolate aromas, rather than the blueberry and bitter chocolate of so many modern wines from here. Lingering, filigree finish that draws you back to the glass.
-James Suckling 94 Points
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 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.
Palacios Remondo was founded in 1947 by the Palacios family in the heart of Rioja, Spain. But the family were no strangers to winemaking—in fact, they’d been producing wine in the region since the late 1800s and had built for themselves a distinguished reputation. But the ’80s brought about changes, and the family decided it was time to focus exclusively on their own, estate-grown wines.
In 2000, fourth-generation Alvaro Palacios took the helm and under his skilled stewardship, the estate has lowered yields, returned to traditional vineyard practices, and focused on organic viticulture. Today, the family remains more committed than ever to crafting beautiful wines that reflect the unique terroir of Rioja’s stunning east.
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.
Rioja Oriental is often described as flatter than the region’s west but make no mistake—there is significant elevation here. Palacios Remondo’s estate vineyards are planted in the foothills of Mount Yerga, at altitudes of 500-650 meters (1,640-2,133 feet) above sea level. The area was first settled and planted by Cistercian monks, which gives the land a “mystic” quality—a key component in what drives Álvaro’s focus on a place.
Some call him a “rebel” or an “iconoclast,” thanks to his maverick approach in breathing new life and prestige into underappreciated regions. He’s also known for his warmth and humility. But at his core, Alvaro Palacios is simply trying to express the unique beauty of Spain’s varied terroir and grapes—and his instincts for scouting out vineyards with sky-high quality potential are unrivaled.
Alvaro was born in 1964—one of nine children. Inspired by his family’s winemaking roots, he left home to attend Bordeaux University where he studied oenology. During a brief stint working for the Moueix family, Alvaro developed a deep appreciation for what he calls “wine beyond the senses.” His objective thereafter became looking for vineyards in places with mystical origins and old vines. After helping to put Priorat (and later, Bierzo) on the fine wine map, Alvaro turned his eyes to his family’s estate. He was convinced that Rioja Oriental was far better suited for Garnacha, the region’s historical variety, than it was for the more commercially viable Tempranillo. Judging from the cascade of critical acclaim and international renown of Palacios Remondo’s Garnacha-based wines, Alvaro’s vision for the future of his family’s estate is coming to fruition.
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 is made from 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
The 2015 Gran Reserva 904 Tinto offers great aromatic complexity, with notes of wild strawberry, red cherry, plum, blackberry and cranberry combined with aromas of tobacco, brioche, ground coffee, caramel, cedar and cinnamon blossom. The alcohol and acidity are elegantly balanced on the palate and its polished, gentle tannins and freshness provide a smooth and refined mouthfeel. Fine, delicate and very long aftertaste, that will continue to be rounded with time in the bottle, making this new Gran Reserva 904 a wine with great cellaring potential.
Especially recommended with all kinds of meat and stews, seasoned fish and desserts with chocolate or red fruit toppings. Perfect as an after-dinner drink.
A perfumed nose of plums, mulberries, mushrooms, caramel, sweet tobacco and sweet spices. Full-bodied with velvety, fine tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and supple with a creamy texture. Delicate and precise with a long, polished finish.
- James Suckling 97 Points
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre planted on clay and stones based soil.
Located in the northern part of the Vaucluse, the soils are mostly on slopes with limestone and rocks, at medium altitude (until 350 meters).
Grapes usually ripeness in late September. The soils are poor and the Mediterranean climate allows to produce concentrated and well balanced grapes. The place is well-known for producing wines with strong identity.
From the Cotes du Rhone Villages classification, RASTEAU has been upgraded to Cru level since the 2009 vintage.
The wine shows a deep red garnet color and a nose of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine. The finish is long, with spicy and mineral notes. Complete and authentic.
"A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, the 2017 Rasteau Les Valats is a classic example of this terroir and offers a darker, smoky, earthy, and chocolaty vibe as well as a rich, mouthfilling style on the palate. Nicely balanced, with a fleshy, expansive mid-palate and great tannins, it’s total charmer to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts
"Very open red-fruit aromas and a rather cool, slightly minty personality make this a good introduction to this underrated Southern Rhone appellation. Good harmony and rather lively for its age at the clean finish. Drink now."
- James Suckling (February 2022), 90 pts
Buccella Cuvee Katrina Eileen Napa Valley is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Named after our first-born daughter, Cuvée Katrina Eileen is primarily composed of fruit from a vineyard in the Western Hills of Yountville, where yields are miniscule. The extremely rocky soil of the vineyard produces concentrated clusters of perfectly ripened Cabernet Sauvignon. In German, the name “Katrina” represents purity and fittingly, this wine is made entirely from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, providing a pure expression of this decadent varietal. It also reflects our daughter’s personality with flavors that are complex, unreserved and expressive.
Always a 100% Cabernet blend, our 2017 Cuvée Katrina Eileen is an opulent and mouth-enriching wine. Captivated by the inky-black color, luscious scents of dark espresso and cinnamon stick leap out, along with powerful elements of graphite and cassis. Remarkably rich and seamless, while boasting flavors of blueberry compote, dark chocolate and black raspberries, this is a compelling and luxurious wine focused upon velvety texture, silky tannins and incredible length. An intentional breadth on the palate and length in the finish are hallmarks of this wine.
The Grand Vin is the 2017 Harlan Estate, and this beauty just about jumps from the glass with its pure cassis and blackcurrant fruits as well as notes of tobacco, graphite, crushed stone, and spice. With a full-bodied, expansive mouthfeel, building, velvety tannins, and a layered, seamless style that offers way more pleasure than just about every other wine in the vintage, bottles can be enjoyed any time over the coming 20-25 years.
- Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
The 2017 Harlan Estate is superb. Deep, inky and wonderfully expressive, the 2017 is impeccably rendered. All the elements come together effortlessly. The nervous tannins of the vintage are evident, but there is also plenty of sumptuousness. Time in the glass brings out a whole range of red-toned fruit and floral notes that are surprising for a year with massive heat spike. The 2017 is polished and sophisticated to the core. In a word: impressive.
-- Antonio Galloni - 96+ Points
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Harlan Estate needs a little coaxing to reveal captivating iron ore, red currant jelly, cloves and crushed rocks scents with a core of warm cassis, Black Forest cake and boysenberries plus a waft of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm, grainy texture with a lively backbone and loads of earthy layers, long and mineral laced. This should be one of the longer-lived wines coming out of the 2017 vintage.
"2018 had a certain sense of ease to it," Bill Harlan said as we tasted the barrel sample of the next iteration of this iconic label. "The pace was wonderful." "Mother nature was allowing us an extended runway," winemaker Cory Empting agreed. "We just started picking and couldn’t stop."
-Wine Advocate 97+ Points
This is fully loaded, with waves of dense yet succulent blackberry, black currant and fig preserves that move along steadily, pulling roasted apple wood, dark bay leaf, espresso cream and humus notes along. A bolt of cast iron emerges through the finish, remaining well-encased in the fruit and adding prodigious length and stability. A fairly tremendous wine, especially considering the vintage. Best from 2022 through 2040. 2,040 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 97 Points
The unique volcanic soil composition of this site is exhibited in this Cabernet’s mineral texture and intensely structured palate. This latest release from the exceptional 2018 vintage presents a deep purple rim surrounding an opaque garnet core with an abundance of aromas emerging from bakers’ chocolate and dark cherry to crème de cassis to tapenade. Both graceful and bold on the palate, the broad tannins are balanced by pulsing acidity that brings tension and freshness throughout. Notes of boysenberry are interspersed with accents of sweet thyme against a backdrop of crush rock minerality, adding to the long finish and layers of complexity.
Bouchard Pere & Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Intense aromas of berry fruit and spices on the nose. Rich, tannic and well structured, this wine develops additional roundness after a few years in bottle. Good ageing potential. Pairs well with game, venison, all grilled and roasted meat.