Tasting Report and Opportunity: Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When I visited Spain a couple years ago, I was chatting with Loren Gil of Gil Family Estates and asked him: If I like Juan Gil Monastrell, El Nido Clio, and Alto Moncayo - what are some other Spanish wines I should check out?

I had a hard time understanding the pronunciation of the specific bottlings he mentioned so I gave him my iPhone and had him type them out. The first wine he listed: Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi.

The wines I mentioned as examples are big wines. They're high in alcohol and can get a bit thick and chewy at times. Even boozy. But when they're presented in the right setting I think they do pull it together successfully thanks to high acidity and overall lusciousness. But I think he mentioned the Finca Dofi for its pedigree and as a gateway to exploring a different style of Spanish wines than what I'd been enjoying.


Priorat is a wine region, quite prestigious, located in Northeast Spain not too far from Barcelona. The grapes used in Priorat are Garnacha and Cariñena - along with Bordeaux varietals.

Finca Dofi is the name of a vineyard, acquired in the 1990s.

Alvaro Palacios is the producer.

The overall style is often compared to Napa Valley Cabernet. But I think this one succeeds for the depth of flavor intensity it achieves while remaining decidedly medium bodied.

Tasting Notes

2010 Alvaro Palacio Finca Dofi
14.5% Alcohol
Around $70

It's all here with fresh, elegant fruit accompanied by appealing earthy notes. It's a complete wine with depth of character in the front, back, and mid-palate. Meticulously balanced. Quite an achievement.

94/100 WWP: Oustanding

Tasting Opportunity

If you live in the Boston area and want to try Finca Dofi, along with other wines from Alvaro Palacios (including his terrific Descendientes di J. Palacios wines from Bierzo) you're in luck. Lower Falls Wine Co. in Newton, MA is having a tasting today at 5p.

Bottom Line

Sometimes when I want to check out whether I'll like the style of a certain wine region I nibble around the edges at affordable but well regarded offerings. But perhaps a better approach is to just go for it and try one of the benchmark bottlings from a well-regarded producer. At around $70, Finca Dofi isn't cheap. But it delivers substantial enjoyment and I'll look forward to trying more wines from the Alvaro Palacios portfolio and from Priorat as well.

Question of the Day: What are some of your favorite wines from Priorat?

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