95 points Decanter
"A seamless, refreshing wine pulsating with dark fruit and black cherry flavours that are very well balanced with the oak and refined acid line. Nothing pokes through or dominates. Serious, long, engaging. Will develop further."
93+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Their regional wine achieves unheard of levels of complexity and nuance with the 2018 Ptalos del Bierzo. It's a blend from over 90 hectares of vineyards in different part of Bierzo, 20 of the grapes from their own vineyards in Corulln, including some 4 white grapes. The rest is purchased from 180+ families with whom they have a long-term relationship. Some of these vineyards are not yet certified organic, but the objective is to achieve it in the next five years. It's mostly Menca, but there are other grapes varieties in the vineyards; they estimate about 3 of other reds, Alicante Bouschet, Gran Negro, Pan y Carne, Negreda, etc. and around 4 whites, Valenciana, Jerez and Godello, half from Corulln and the other half from other villages. The grapes were partly destemmed and fermented in open-top stainless steel and oak vats with 25 days of maceration where the wine underwent a slow three-month malolactic. It matured in barrel for 12 months. This is the wine that showcases the house style and the character of the vintage, which, in this case, is delicate and very much from the zone. There is an aromatic purity and elegance that is very captivating with a faint flinty background, the cherry essence (Mediterranean) and a touch of fern (Atlantic) plus a honeyed twist that shows up after a couple of hours in the glass. It has a silky texture, soft and caressing, with very fine tannins and the faint bitter twist in the finish. In an ideal world, this should be the first wine people drink from Bierzo, and fortunately, in many cases, it is, given the availability, even if they did a more severe selection. This is approachable now but would be better in one year, and it's going to live in bottle."
Vinous Reverie Notes
Jancis Robinson - Previous Vintage Wine of the Week
"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.
...I know this is a popular wine because when on Twitter I used this picture of a bottle of it to illustrate the size of our new book Wine Grapes and Nick's new book The Art of the Restaurateur (more about this tomorrow), many people recognised the bottle fondly."
The vineyards used in Petalos include estate vineyards and rented vineyards in and around the village of Corullon. The vines range in age from 40 - 90 years old.