Summary of Álvaro Palacios' appraisal of the 2011 vintage
“2011 is a legendary year that will touch us to the core with the power of the fruit brimming with richness and emotion. It gladdens your heart.” This is how Álvaro Palacios describes the 2011 harvest, a year of sunshine and intense heat, which has once again shown the enormous capacity that classic and traditional vines have for resisting and overcoming the Mediterranean climate at its limit of extreme brightness. A harvest of concentration and purity.
After having been through some dry months in July, August, September and October the year before, the start of winter followed the same pattern. February too. The only real rain fell during an abnormally cold month of March, starting spring off cold and wet.
During the month of April, a large number of small grape clusters emerged, boding a very abundant, bountiful harvest. The month of May carried on dry, contrary to the norm for this time of year, and that continual lack of wet weather, plus dry winds, was favourable for flowering and contributed to perfect pollination and grapevine fruit set. At the end of June, the last 50 litres of rain fell of what would end up by being a very extreme year and full of exertion.
Although July offered cool temperatures, with the drought still remaining, the temperatures during the months of August and September were extreme (it was the driest September in the last 130 years), which brought the grape harvest forward by a week and a half or almost two, rewarding us with a concentrated and pure substance. It is truly admirable, this unknown force that emerges from the vineyards when they exist in their most authentic and natural setting. It is the actual Mediterranean climate that endows the grapes with a tangible, mysterious, spiritual and divine vigour. "It is the good fortune of privilege, a gift for which we give thanks", declares Álvaro. His best example: top classified vineyard, L'Ermita at Gratallops.
Finca Dofí 2011 (PR) front and back
Fincas La Baixada y L'Ermita. FOTO: Álvaro Palacios.
Álvaro Palacios came to the Priorat, to the town of Gratallops to be precise, following the lead of a group of local producers fully intending to pass on through their wines all the character of this land, full of its own brightness, with the shining Mediterranean sun, the gleaming slate...
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