Reggie’s Pick: 2017 Alvaro Palacios “Camins del Priorat’ $25

This Alvaro Palacios wine from Priorat hits the sweet spot as a great wine at an affordable price. While built to last, it is approachable young: offering floral aromas on the nose and dark red fruit, tobacco and bramble on the palate with a long, refined finish. The wine is a blend of 40% Garnacha, 30% Samso (Carignane), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. Priorat is a Catalan Denominacion;Origen Qualificada (DOQ) for wines produced in the Priorat County, in the province of Tarragona, in the southwest of Catalonia.

The DOQ covers 11 municipalities. It primarily produces powerful red wines, which came to international attention in the 1990s. The area is characterized by its unique terroir of black slate and quartz soil known as llicorella. It is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as DOCa, the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja DOCa. Priorat is the Catalan word, the one that appears most often on wine labels, while the Castilian equivalent is Priorato. Enjoy this wine with grilled meats, roast chicken or Paella.