One of 9 children of the owner of Rioja house Bodegas Palacios Remondo, Alvaro Palacio has broken away from Rioja to pursue an independent winemaking philosophy. His holdings in Bierzo total only 30ha, spread across some 200 tiny, steeply-sloped vineyard sites. A broad spectrum of aromas gradually emanate from the glass, with blackcurrant and cherry being joined by savoury clove and liquorice notes. Smooth yet muscular tannins and a long, drying finish. An interesting alternative middleweight red, which will go well with full-flavoured pasta dishes, charcuterie and hard cheeses or game.