The wines of Descendientes de J. Palacios Winery Bierzo | Spanish Wine Lover

Passion for Spanish wine


The arrival of Álvaro Palacios in Bierzo along with nephew Ricardo Pérez at the end of the nineties caused a stir in a region that was starting to focus on the subtle personality of Mencía, the local red variety.

The Palacios project was set apart from the others for various reasons: it actively searched for old vines located in steep slopes at high altitude in the vicinity of Corullón and applied vinification techniques that were less focused on extraction and more on highlighting terroir personality. Additionally, Ricardo is one of the first producers in Spain to farm his own vineyards following biodynamic principles.

With its monastic past, its location right in the heart of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James), and a considerable amount of old vines perched on steep slopes, the Bierzo area must have felt like a small Atlantic Priorat to Álvaro Palacios. It has all the ingredients to produce Burgundy-style wines.

Pétalos del Bierzo (€17, 350,000 bottles)is their entry-level or "regional wine" as Álvaro Palacios likes to describe it. Even if some grapes are sourced from outstanding vineyards like Moncerbal or Las Lamas, most of them come from local purveyors.

Corullón (€50, around 30,000 bottles) is a village wine (vino de villa) made from Mencía and around 6% white grapes sourced from over 200 small plots. There are several wines made from specific sites (vinos de paraje) or vineyards. Out of the five wines launched initially, two (San Martín and Fontelas) have been discontinued. They are all Mencías, although they may be blended with a small percentage of Alicante Bouschet and the white varieties that happen to be planted in the vineyards.

Las Lamas (around €165, over 6,000 bottles) offers a text-book fruit expression of Mencía with outstanding juiciness, whereas Moncerbal (€140, around 6,000 bottles) shows less volume and has a mineral, savoury character.

The top red La Faraona (€1,000, around 1.000 bottles) comes from a vineyard located at an altitude of over 900m. It reproduces L'Ermita model in Priorat but is less accesible given its tiny production. It shares similar traits with the rest of the wines in the range, but it is deep, elegant and distinctively fresh and expressive.

There is a new single-vineyard red called Al Chelo since the 2023 vintage. Grapes come from a 0.30 ha vineyard in the Valdafoz site, which used to be destined for Corullón. Only 1,000 bottles will be produced in this first vintage.


Pétalos del Bierzo 2012 Tinto
Villa de Corullón 2012 Tinto
Moncerbal 2012 Tinto
See all the wines


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