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Wine of the Week

1998 Alvaro Palacios "Les Terrasses," Priorat, Spain

April 18, 2001|S. IRENE VIRBILA

Though he grew up on his family's estate in Rioja, the young Spanish winemaker Alvaro Palacios was determined to make his own mark. He worked briefly in Bordeaux before venturing off to the Priorat region southwest of Barcelona more than a decade ago. His superb high-end wines "L'Ermita" and "Finca Dofi" are highly allocated and much sought after, but he also makes the more moderately priced "Les Terrasses" from grapes grown on the Priorat's steeply terraced hillsides. It's a blend of Garnacha (Grenache) and Carinena (Carignan), tempered with a little Cabernet. The 1998 is brilliant garnet in color and delicious, with lots of lush sweet fruit and a dry tannic finish. This is a wine that shines with barbecued meats, especially lamb or a steak.

About $22. Available at Wally's in Westwood, (888) 992-5597, Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (800) 678-9463, Wine Exchange in Orange, (800) 769-4639 and by mail from Rare Wine Co., (800) 999-4343). If you can't find this wine, have your local retailer call the distributor, Martine's Wines, (415) 883-0400.

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