James Suckling, 92 pts
"Very pretty, old-vine garnacha with dried strawberry, light vanilla and some floral undertones, such as roses. It’s medium-to full-bodied, layered and firm. Fresh finish. Drink now."
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.