Finca La Montesa

Finca La Montesa

  • Rioja D.O.Ca., Spain, 
  • Rioja Oriental, 
  • spain

Latest Awards

  • 90 points Wine Spectator , April 2024
  • 93 points Vinous , December 2023

Alvaro Palacios has spent decades pioneering a new order of fine wine across Spain. He has created some of the country’s most iconic wines by championing terroir and native grapes whose potential had been long overlooked and untapped. Palacios Remondo is his family’s Rioja estate, tucked in the far eastern corner of the Oriental district. The story in this rugged, high-altitude scrubland is about Garnacha—the territory’s traditional variety and also one of Alvaro’s biggest passions. By focusing on elevating Garnacha-driven wines that are expressive of and authentic to this stunning side of Rioja, Alvaro is continuing to reshape the future of Spanish fine wine.


Rioja Oriental is blessed with a warm, dry Mediterranean-influenced climate (unlike Rioja’s west, where the climate is more continental). The soils comprise alluvial deposits of volcanic rock, quartz, and sandstone, interspersed with carbonate and clay-ferrous colluvial materials including lime and sand. At varying depths lies a layer of poor, petrocalcic horizon—with its trademark white color—prized by many for its ability to impart a mineral-driven finesse to the wine. The La Montesa vineyard is planted to Garnacha (average age 35 years; both head trained and Double Cordon Royat) and other traditional varieties at an ideal east-southeast exposure in the foothills of Mount Yerga at 550 meters/1,804 feet above sea level. Alvaro and his team farm this vineyard organically and there is no irrigation. Harvest—all done by hand with very strict grape selection in the vineyard—began on Sept. 14 and finished on Oct. 15, 2020. The 2020 growing season in Rioja Oriental was very good; a rainy spring gave way to a hot summer and, at these altitudes, ripening occurred slowly and evenly.

Winemaking & Aging

Grapes were quickly transported to the winery in Alfaro, where the grapes were destemmed and crushed. Maceration lasted 35 days and the native yeast co-fermentation took place in inox vats with pump over. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats before being transferred to oak barriques for 12 months. Bottled unfiltered.

Tasting Notes

An elegant wine with juicy-ripe strawberry, raspberry and cherries, edged by baking spice and wildflower/herbal notes. The palate is fresh and vibrant, balanced by soft tannins and a silky-smooth texture.


Medium ruby hue, with a bright and racy nose that’s full of pretty berries, redcurrants, fresh strawberries and potpourri. Medium-bodied and naturally juicy on the palate, showing lots of crunch and drinkability. Fresh, transparent and silky. Drink or hold. – J.S.

James Suckling - January 2023


The modern-inspired 2020 La Montesa is a blend of 90% Garnacha and 10% other red varieties sourced from Monte Yerga in Alfaro, Rioja Oriental. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, this infusion-like wine boasts a purple-red color. Its enticing, earthy-reductive nose presents notes of blood and sour cherry, intertwined with herbal and grapefruit undertones. The palate is precise and exhilarating, with a lean and taut profile that vibrates with a juicy, chalky mouthfeel, all balanced on a refreshing core—an alluring, flavorful red. -J.H.

Vinous - December 2023


They are going for lower yields and less bottles of the 2020 La Montesa and slowly putting prices up, as they feel the wine is more serious than what the perception of the affordable price makes it. 2020 is a powerful vintage; it's structured and textured, the oak is very nicely integrated (12 months in barrel, but the powerful wine absorbed it completely), and it's powerful with 14% alcohol and a pH of 3.55, a little darker than in previous years. The tannins are very fine with a subtle chalky texture. There were 2,319 barrels that resulted in 672,000 bottles, 10,000 magnums and some larger and smaller formats. It was bottled from April 2022. – L.G.

Wine Advocate - July 2022


This fresh, appealing red shows fine balance, with light tannins trimming flavors of ripe cherry and roasted fig, plus accents of toast, Earl Grey, red licorice and warm spices. Minerally finish. Drink now through 2030.—A.N

Wine Spectator - April 2024


Rioja D.O.Ca., Spain

grape varieties

90% Garnacha 10% Traditional Varieties



technical details
  • ABV: 14%
  • TA: 3.55 g/l
  • Closure: Cork

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