Malcolm Jolley is pleased to see an old favourite come back to Vintages.

Palacios Remondo La Vendimia Rioja 2017: $18.95, LCBO# 674564

The last time I saw Alvaro Palacios it was six years ago and he was being mobbed by Japanese fans at a wine conference in Priorat. He carried his trademark twinkle in his eye and he made an impression. Palacios is the rock star winemaker and principal of his family’s Northern Spanish wine concern, Palacios Remondo. He makes some very good, sought-after and correspondingly expensive wines. Luckily for budget conscious winos like me he also makes a delicious entry level Rioja: La Vendimia, which can be found at Vintages these days for $18.95 while, as they say, supplies last. I have been a fan of this wine for about a decade, and its wonderful to see that its price has not inflated as the quality of the fruit seems to improve vintage over vintage.

Rock star winemaker Àlvaro Palacios best by Japanese fans at Espai Priorat, April 2013.

Right isn’t the right word for the 2017 La Vendimia, but it certainly ain’t heavy and shows a pleasing liveliness. There are violets and purple fruits on the nose and a vibrant kick of red fruit in the mouth. It’s easy to drink and fun. I’m going to open a bottle with a grilled striploin on Friday night and toast Alvaro Palacios and well made wine at a price worthy of a try.