The 2011 Petalos del Bierzo is a truly great value from Spain.
The region of Bierzo, in the northwest corner of Spain, is getting noticed more and more these days. The predominant grape grown in Bierzo is Mencia. The Mencia grape benefits from a cool climate, hillside vineyards, mineral-laden soil, and low-yielding old vines. All of these conditions help to make wines with great concentration, complexity, and amazing purity.
The Petalos del Bierzo comes from from old hillside and hilltop vines from across Bierzo’s western edge. The wine is vinified for immediate appeal, but it retains the estate’s signature finesse and restraint.
92 Points – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate:
At the end of the day, if I really have to recommend a wine from this collection, the one I’d buy for my cellar, it will be the 2011 Petalos del Bierzo. It is 95% Mencia mixed in the field with 3% of white grapes and the rest Alicante Bouschet and other reds, fermented after de-stemming in open wood and inox vats and aged ten months in French barrels, of which 20% are new. Eighty percent of the grapes are grown on slate in the Corullon vineyards, with different altitudes and orientations, and the remaining 20% come from clay soils from the valley. It all adds to the complexity of the wine. The wine is very aromatic and flowery (violets), almost heady, with clear notes of blueberries and licorice. The oak is perfectly integrated, almost imperceptible, save for a touch of spices and a lactic hint denoting a very young wine. It has a medium body, with a thick silky texture, is very tasty, with some acidic strawberry flavors. This is one of my go-to wines at restaurant lists, as it offers very good value for money and is widely available in Spain (and elsewhere, I hope!), as 320,000 bottles were produced. This could very well be the best Petalos produced to date. Drink now through 2019.
90 Points – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar:
Deep ruby. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suave floral and dark chocolate nuances. Blackberry and bitter cherry flavors become sweeter with air, picking up a peppery note that adds vibrancy. Closes spicy and long, with sneaky tannins and an echo of bitter chocolate.