Handpicked grapes from a dry farmed, organic vineyard (El Jardin de las Iguales) with 80-100 year old vines. The soils are limestone and blue slate and range from 400-1030 meters elevation (this vineyard is extreme!).
James Suckling, 91 pts
"Pomegranate, dark cherries, dragon fruit and candied orange peel are interspersed among vanilla-bean and clove character. Quite muscular on the palate, which has a lot of tannins that surround layers of dark cherries."
Proelio is one of three wineries belonging to Javier Palacios, each dedicated to different genres: Nivarius exclusively (and most unusually) to white Rioja, Trus to Ribeira del Duero, and Proelio to red wines. The vineyards are relatively high in the Rioja Alta at 650 meters, and offer an impressive variety of soil types and inclinations. But they are generally north-facing and have an average age of 45 years. Also, unusually for the region, the wines are produced 85% from their own holdings. Farming practices are very traditional, with all the plowing done by horses. The estate is in the second year of conversion to organic certification. Fermentation via indigenous yeasts is achieved in large wooden vats, with further aging all done in increasingly large barrels and final assembly executed in concrete.