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Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita

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  • Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita

Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita 2010 (750ml)

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The 2010 L’Ermita is approximately 90% Garnacha, 8% Carinena and 2% white grapes, mainly Garnacha Blanca, since that is the mix found in the vineyard, and it has been like this since the 2006 harvest. Every year the grapes are hand-picked and then the 45-odd people that take part in the harvest sit down and go through each and every bunch removing the grapes that are not pristine. So even if the harvest is late, there is no over ripeness in the wine, as all the raisined fruit is removed. The bunches, which are very small and loose, go through a sorting table and the selection is stricter. Nothing less than perfect makes it into the fermentation vats. I saw a beautiful video of the 2013 harvest, which happened later than ever, on November 5, which was breathtaking. Going back to the 2010, the grapes were picked on October 29, and the final yield was a tiny 7.8 hectoliters per hectare, which resulted in 1,254 bottles and a bunch of magnums (and bigger-sized bottles) from the 1.40 hectares of vines. The grapes fermented in oak vats and then aged for 16 months in new French oak barrels. The wine presents itself with an incredible freshness, the nose full of citric notes of blood orange (Alvaro talks about grapefruit), Mediterranean herbs, licorice, violets and aniseed, pure elegance and subtly, with electric, lively acidity (according to the technical data, it has a pH of 3.3, a figure far more common in whites than in reds), pungent flavors, and very good grip. Graceful, elegant, vibrant. The oak is imperceptible, fully integrated into the wine, both in the nose and the palate, as only the very best grapes in the world can do: this is a truly world-class wine, and one of the best (if not the best) L’Ermita ever produced. It’s approachable now, but it should age and improve slowly and for a very long time. Drink 2014-2025+. (RP 99)

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