Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses 2004, Priorat

With the rehymanization, sorry, of this insignificant little blog, I'd like to draw your attention - and most certainly mine as well - to a couple of grape varietals an wine regions which aren't that dearly close to my heart. Today I'd like to start with a combination: Priorat and Garnacha (resp. Grenache) + Carineña (resp. Carignan)! Therefore I have chosen a real classic from Priorat: The Les Terrasses 2004 from Alvaro Palacios (predominant Garnacha and Carineña, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon):

The colour appeared dark garnet red, showed a buttload of particles, plenty of depot - so better beware of that - and only a minor watery section on the rim of the glass. It looked astoundingly fresh and almost juvenile! The nose was dominated by young, juicy and “earthed” blueberries, a few indications of cow stables, a veritable dark seeming mineral touch and assorted clear autumnal fragrances. On the second day the nose seemed more balanced in terms of fruit, a bit more smoky and strangely enough a bit more characterized by typical oak features. The taste seemed “earthed”! What does that mean? For me, this expression might be described with terms like not super-fruitful, no cassis chewing-gum issues, not over-ethereal and no alcohol (+ alc. “sweetness”) exaggerations. In short: not a pretentious, over-powered fruit bomb like some or many semi-hard-bodied Priorat wines! In case of the Les Terrasses these unfavourable Grenache (and in terms of alcohol and ethereal aspects Carineña, too) attributes weren't that expressive or pushy! The primarily blueberry dominated fruit seemed very present, but nicely integrated and balanced, the tannin structure was rather firm, the body not body-bulider'ish, but definitely vigorous, and the Priorat'ish mineral touch not that superficial or elaborate. A decent proportion of acid guaranteed this wine a vibrating and still lively character. An oak influence was pretty obvious, but gently adapted! On the second day I sensed a bit more smoothness, a little less fruit and typical ethereal spice. There was still a lot of life in this wine. I guess there is no need to rush. A Very decent ***** and surly a bit reconciliatory Garnacha + Carineña experience!

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