Spanish Red Wine Review: Camins del Priorat 2011

by mary on February 14, 2013

Great intro to pricy Priorat at the hands of the master Alvaro Palacios, this Spanish red wine is easy to drink and easy on the wallet at about 18$ in the US and 15€ in Spain. The Priorat region offers wines full of character, with an intensity, boldness and a savory minerality that reflects the unique terroir. Unfortunately all this comes at a very premium price, especially in a good-value Spanish context. The upside of crisis times is that many top wineries have come out with cheaper wines that can give you some glimpses into this amazing stuff. Also check out neighboring Montsant for some great values….

The label is an old pic of mine but the 2011 has the same label. It’s a typical Priorat blend of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, and has 8 months of aging in barrels and larger format oak. It’s a lighter wine by Priorat standards, but still full-bodied. Attractive, simple black fruit is supported by a touch of spice and a nice freshness that gives it surprising freshness in an entry-level wine. Like all the wines of the region, it has a very long finish.

Alvaro is most famous for the amazing l’Ermita, for Finca Dofi, and now for his fantastic wines from the Mencía grape in the Bierzo region. He has sought out some of the most interesting terroir in Spain and consistently produces some of its top wines. It’s nice that he also produce some wines for the little man. The equivalent entry level wine in the Bierzo line is the Pétalos de Bierzos, which has had huge critical acclaim at a small price point. I like it, but it has never been my favorite entry-level Mencía. I do recommend to give it a try though as many are crazy about it!

I always say I would happily drink Priorat every day but my budget rarely covers the 60€ I need for my habit. I love these wines! they have so much personality! I’m always on the look out for great values in the area. The Camins was one of my “everyday” wines while I lived in Spain and I’m happy to see it readily available at a good price here in the US.

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Miquel July 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

That’s a nice bottle, isn’t it? While obviously lacking on the greater depth of the more expensive wines from Palacios, it’s a good taste of what they’re capable of.

-miquel
Vinologue Priorat

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mary July 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Hi Miquel! thanks for your comment…I absolutely agree! It’s a really nice, simple introduction to the great wines of Priorat. I love that so many Priorat producers are now offering these less expensive wines. Though some would criticize this as selling out, I think it’s important to give people the chance to get hooked to the wines and the area before they move up to the more expensive wine. Cheers!

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