James Suckling 93
"A very cool wine. Made from almost all garnacha, it has a depth and intensity with a minerality and saltiness. Plenty of strawberries and flowers. Medium body. Vivid and focused. Lovely finish already. Made from organic grapes."
Wine Spectator 92
"Silky and polished, this red is graceful and lively, with cherry, raspberry and orange peel flavors mingling with clove, toast and mineral notes. Lively and energetic, showing purity and balance. Drink now through 2027."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92
"Always a sure value, the 2015 La Montesa, has been increasing the amount of Garnacha in its blend, and here it reached 92% with the remaining 8% being Tempranillo. La Montesa is the name of a large estate where different lieux-dits, or "parajes" in Spanish, contribute to the blend of Valtomelloso, Valfrio and Valviejo. The grapes were hand-picked throughout October, then destemmed, crushed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats, with remontage, where it also underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine matured in barrel for 12 months before being bottled. There is a big jump from La Vendimia to La Montesa in finesse, freshness and subtleness. The tannins are ultrafine, and the flavors are intense and deep, with some spicy undertones and a very tasty finish. Amazingly good. A whopping 650,000 bottles and some other formats produced. The quality is amazing for the volume, and it's also a good value."
Decanter 92Spot-on: La Montesa is now in its right place. Ripe, polished Garnacha, with notes of herbs and spice, and a slight seasoning of Tempranillo. Long, confident, finely integrated oak, full-flavoured finish."
Bodegas Palacios RemondoView all from Bodegas Palacios Remondo
Founded in 1945, it has been the seed of a wine producing dynasty which has expanded beyond the Rioja confines. Álvaro is based in Priorat and in Bierzo with nephew Ricardo Pérez whereas Rafael Palacios is making white wines in Valdeorras.
Palacios Remondo has always been among the leading producers in the often snubbed Rioja Baja, traditionally associated with mass produded wines rather than quality brands. It is therefore understandable that Álvaro Palacios tried for a while to popularise the less derogatory name of Rioja Oriental. Regardless of his long absence, the shadow of Spain's celebrity winemaker has always hanged over the family winery and he is now in charge of both the business and the wines.
His vision of this part of Rioja could be summarised in two words: Garnacha and altitude. The jewel of the winery is the fabulous La Montesa vineyard, which rises on the hillsides of Monte Yerga. When Garnacha, Rioja Baja's natural variety, is planted on this location and at the right orientation, it can give wines that stand out among others in the Denomination for their freshness, aromatic nose and balsamic power. As an expert in the variety thanks to his work in Priorat, he has increased the presence of Garnacha in the house bottlings. It now represents 75% of the blend in La Montesa (€11) whereas the premium Propiedad Viñedos Tradicionales (€21) is a single varietal.