Wine Review: Finca la Montesa 2018
Producer: Palacios Remondo
Region: Rioja Oriental, Rioja, Spain
Vineyards: La Montesa, Parajes de Valtomelloso, Valfrio and Valviejo and Monte Yerga
Grape: 95% Garnacha, 5% other “traditional varietals”
Finca la Montesa is the result, and one of many at that, of a historical winemaking family, the Palacios. The current owner, Alvaro Palacios, could have his book written about him and his contributions to Spanish wine – particularly in shaping modern-day Priorat and Rioja. In short, he made his name in Priorat with his famed vineyard and wine, L’Ermita. Then, he expanded into Bierzo, and he finally returned home to Rioja to revive the family winery.
While many of his wines can go for hundreds of dollars, Finca la Montesa is only around $20. Fortunately for us, the average wine drinkers, this bottle provides amazing value and gives you a generous peak into Palacios’s capabilities and the potential of his other wines.
This wine is named after the Montesa Vineyard and pulls grapes from a few others as well throughout Rioja’s sub-region of Rioja Oriental. This bottle is a prime example of Rioja’s value, both in quality and financially, and really shows what amazing wine here can look like. It’s elegant and balanced with more richness and complexity than you would ever expect at this price point.
Nose & Tongue
The Garnacha is fairly light on the tongue, yet it comes across as great lighter-style wines should. The wine is packed full of flavor, though not overbearing by any means of the word. The acidity is mouth-watering, while the tannins are soft and subtle.
This bottle is earthy and vegetal from the start. With some air, fresh, ripe cherry comes through and balances out some of the funk. Hints of leather, chocolate, and tobacco complement the beautiful mesh of earth and fruit for an absolutely satisfying wine. If you’re wanting to dip your toes into Spanish Rioja and want to know what amazing Rioja Garnacha can look like, Palacio Remondo’s is the best example I can think of. If you’re already a fan of the region, then this will be a treat.