Pétalos 2020 – Descendientes de J. Palacios 
Style: Red
Country: Spain
Region: Bierzo
Grape: Mencia
Score: 90-94
Price: 10-20 euro

Pétalos 2020 – Descendientes de J. Palacios.

In this review we are discussing a wine from the Mencía grape, that has its home on the Iberian Peninsula. This Mencía comes from the Bierzo D.O. and is produced by Descendientes de J. Palacios. Ran by two cousins from the famous Palacios family, with its stronghold in the Rioja region. This is the 2020 vintage of the old vine “Pétalos”.

About the Grape 

Mencía is a variety that you do not see often. Mostly it’s found in the Western part of Spain and Portugal (where it is known as Jaen). It is primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras, Monterrei and Dão wine regions.

Most wines produced from Mencía have traditionally been light, pale, relatively fragrant red wines for early consumption. This style of wine was the result of post-Phylloxera plantations on fertile plains, which tended to give high yields but diluted wine. In recent years, much more concentrated and complex wines have been produced by a new generation of winemakers. A good example is this Pétalos from Bierzo.

Mencía is also referred to as the “Pinot Noir of Spain”, partially because of its clear colour, its delicacy and sensitivity to terroir.

About the Winery 

Descendientes de J. Palacios is a winery ran by two cousins from the famous Palacios family: Alvaro Palacios and Ricardo Perez. Alvaro is known as one of the best winemakers in Spain (with business in Rioja and Priorat) and brother to Rafael, who was guest in our show Cellar Talks (you can find it here) and focusses on Godello in Galicia. Ricardo is well respected for his knowledge on biodynamic grape growing.

The winery consists of 45 hectares of vineyards with great soil diversity. Vines are mostly planted around the city of Corullón, on the west side of Bierzo, and grow on very steep hills.

About the Wine 

Pétalos refers to the flower petals, as pictured on the label of the wine. We get the link to this elegant and light-footed wine. 

Made out of 92% Mencía and supplemented with a number of regional varieties. The vines are aged between 40 and 90 years, delivering low yields and concentrated fruit. Processed in a combination of steel and wood, after which the wine ages for about 10 months on wood.

Presents itself with a clear ruby red colour that lets you see straight to the bottom of the glass. This is an aromatic wine, with a nose of black and red fruit, spices and earthy notes. Easy drinking because of its palette that boosts a nice juicy acidity. The wine has a soft tannin structure and a long fruity aftertaste. Perfect for a BBQ on a warm day, when chilled a bit. Works very well with manchego or a good steak with pepper sauce.

In summary: Fruity and fresh with pleasant acidity and soft tannins. 

DWA Score: 92/100 Robert Parker Score: 93/100

Imported in the Netherlands by Vinites and available through associated retailers and restaurants. 

Price:                    ~ €18

Taste date:           September 2022

Score:                   92/100 DWA Score

Website:              N/A