From €10.63, $15.93, £12.79, CA$20.55, 149 Swedish krone, 135 Danish krone, 23 Swiss francs, 225 Norwegian krone, Aus $41.39, 1,710 roubles
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Look at all those international prices! This is a wine that must be made in considerable quantity; there's hardly a country it's not available in. But it is also completely stunning quality. I have loved the Mencía grape of northwest Spain ever since I first tasted it and Ricardo Palacios, nephew of the famous Alvaro of Priorat, could be credited with revitalising the Bierzo region, bringing its unusual combination of Atlantic-influenced climate and extensive area of old vines and some steep, slate slopes. Hence the heartening quantity available of this, the principal product of Descendientes de J Palacios.
Majestic are listing it, as '2009/10', at £15.99 (Berrys, whose image this is top left, have it at £16.95) but if you buy two bottles the price comes down to a bargain £12.79. The 2009 is good but I think the 2010 is even better, a little racier. Pétalos 2010 Bierzo is made from 60-year-old vines apparently and spends 10 months in used French oak. I loved its super supple, juicy fruit with just a hint of graphite (it's easy to see why the locals initially thought this grape variety might be Cabernet Franc; DNA analysis has shown it is identical to the Jaen of northern Portugal, incidentally). This very complete wine with a bone-dry finish hides its 14% alcohol extremely well. I know the word fluid may seem a bit tautologous as applied to wine but it does seem a particularly apt description of this lovely wine, which I suggest could be drunk any time over the next four years.
Read what our Spanish specialist Luis Gutierrez has to say about Spain's Atlantic-influenced reds and delve even deeper into the region and style.