Alvaro studied enology in Bordeaux, while working under Jean-Pierre Moueix at Ch. Pétrus. He credits his tenure at Pétrus for much of his winemaking philosophy and for showing him “the importance of great wines.” Alvaro has been instrumental in introducing the Burgundian ideas of Villages and Cru to Priorat. In 2006, he began to elaborate separately a collection of old vineyards from throughout the township of Gratallops to extend and commercialize this idea.
The red "vi de vila" (village wine) 2017 Gratallops is a blend of 80% Garnacha, 19% Cariñena and 1% white grapes that fermented crushed and destemmed in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak bocoyes and foudres for 15 months. This is the wine that surprised me the most when they were poured and I first put my nose in the glass. It feels floral, aromatic, clean, open and expressive like no other Gratallops that I remember. It seems quite marked by the Garnacha, with notes of Mediterranean herbs, red berries and fennel. For Álvaro Palacios, the wines from Gratallops have to have ripeness, not be very dark in color, with brightness, red rather than black fruit, not heavy, with the textured sensation of the slate soils. However, not all wines show the character of the village, as some people are still using foreign varieties, sometimes picking overripe, extracting too much and using too much oak, which hides the character of the wines. The wines have to be transparent. This Gratallops could very much represent the character of the place. All of the 2017s have very low pH, which is quite remarkable for the extremely warm and dry year. This has to be among the best Gratallops to date. 18,900 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2019.