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2011 Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi Priorato


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Vinous Media (VM)


Opaque ruby. Ripe red berries and cherry-cola on the highly perfumed mineral, floral nose. Broad and deep but lively, offering sweet raspberry, lavender pastille and mineral flavors lifted by peppery spices. Tightly focused on the silky finish, which manages to be vibrant and rich at the same time. Tannins come up with air but this is all about fruit and flowers right now. This wine is virtually all garnacha.

Wine Advocate (WA)


The 2011 Finca Dofi is a blend of 95% Garnacha and 5% Syrah. It has another exuberant bouquet, like the older sister of the 2011 Gallotrops, endowed with beautifully defined floral aromas. There are hints of broom and fennel infusing the scintillating red fruit and a sorbet-like freshness. The palate is medium-bodied with a vibrant peppery entry, fanning across the mouth with succulent red currant and wild strawberry fruit. The acidity maintains superb balance, countering the 14.8% alcohol with ease. There is a firm underlying structure that is only exposed towards the long persistent, mineral-rich finish. Wonderful. Drink 2016-2030+ Visiting Alvaro Palacios was a must during my trip to Priorat, the dynamo and tour de force that has propelled Priorat to the forefront of the Spanish wine scene. The modern architecture of his hilltop winery lies in stark contrast to the nearby village Gratallops, where houses huddle as if sheltering from a raincloud that will never come. Indeed, as we parked the car, the village’s P.A. system was announcing that there would be no running water for the next two hours, indicating how precious a commodity water is. People suffer as well as vines. Since his debut in 1989, Alvaro’s wines have built a formidable reputation with prices to match. Fortunately, he pays as much attention to quality at the lower end of his range: a bottle bearing his name must meet his exacting standards. I listened as Alavaro expounded the greatness of Garnacha, convinced that the identity of Priorat lies in this grape variety and Carinena, rather than Cabernet Sauvignon. A man of his word, he is therefore reducing the percentage of Cabernet in his flagship L’Ermita and it would not surprise me if it is phased out entirely in the future. Personally, I think an already great wine is greater for it. He also rhapsodized about his nascent 2010s, which he feels are not as “heavy” as his 2009s and constitute “very enchanting wines,” something I completely agree with. Most of these wines were tasted in Priorat, augmented by one or two tastings held in London.

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