It was purely from advertisement, perhaps a random victim of email spam. My behavior was a calculated pattern by targeted marketing. Slurp.asia was successful in promoting the “Slurp deal” via their mailing list which I unintentionally signed up earlier. The results were some champagnes, a Rhone red and two bottles of this 2011 Petalos Bierzo (Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos, Bierzo, Spain)
2011 Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos Bierzo
I acted like a zombie who sought RP as its food source. So, HK$145 with high score RP92 was an apparent good deal. Furthermore, my intention was to grab the champagne, but in order to qualify for free delivery, getting these two unknown, at least to me, was just nice to waive the shipping charge.
After the initial thrill of being the purchase zombie, the two Petalos Bierzo have been hibernating in the house. They came to my sight accidentally, months later, when I was searching for something else near their nest (a carton that was filled with all sort of temporary stuffs).
Petalos Bierzo was immediately accessible upon uncorking. Dark ruby, the aroma of dark fruits was especially attractive. Blueberries and floral notes, with tasty oak and hint of dark chocolate, integrated better with more air. Medium body, although the alcohol content was 14.5%. Silky tannin with very rounded finish.
Castilla y León met Timor Selatan
We had babici for our dinner. Petalos Bierzo cut through the grease and complex spices with its attractive fruits. The body of a balanced 14.5% alcohol also complemented well with our Indonesian spicy dish babici. With this taste property, I’m quite confident that the wine will work with other spicy or oily food as well – another great paring wine for the rich and spicy Southeast Asian food.
The wine was made with a local variety – mencia, from the vineyard in Bierzo of Castilla y León regoin, northwest of Spain. The dish was a recipe from a local of Timor Selatan (South Timor Island) of Indonesia. They met in Hong Kong and “phoom”, ended up with great chemical reaction!
So, was Petalos Bierzo local or global? Mencia grape is definitely indigenous of northwest Spain, and hasn’t become an international varietal. But the wine maker Palacios had made abundance of this wine. It’s available in many parts of the world with modern marketing and logistics facilities.
The answer is not important. For me, it’s just another evidence of the world seeking more varieties in the business. Exploring new indigenous varietals will be the trend. At least I’m constantly looking for it, to keep my palate stimulated, at all time!
“At the end of the day, if I really have to recommend a wine from this collection, the one I’d buy for my cellar, it will be the 2011 Petalos del Bierzo. It is 95% Mencia mixed in the field with 3% of white grapes and the rest Alicante Bouschet and other reds, fermented after de-stemming in open wood and inox vats and aged ten months in French barrels, of which 20% are new. Eighty percent of the grapes are grown on slate in the Corullon vineyards, with different altitudes and orientations, and the remaining 20% come from clay soils from the valley. It all adds to the complexity of the wine. The wine is very aromatic and flowery (violets), almost heady, with clear notes of blueberries and licorice. The oak is perfectly integrated, almost imperceptible, save for a touch of spices and a lactic hint denoting a very young wine. It has a medium body, with a thick silky texture, is very tasty, with some acidic strawberry flavors. This is one of my go-to wines at restaurant lists, as it offers very good value for money and is widely available in Spain (and elsewhere, I hope!), as 320,000 bottles were produced. This could very well be the best Petalos produced to date. Drink now through 2019. ” 92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate