La Faraona 2012 Alvaro Palacios
The 2012 La Faraona is an old-vine Mencia-based blend from a selection form the El Ferro zone. This is a wine that is always different from its siblings, sourced from a difficult place where the vines struggle to ripen the grapes, and give very mineral wines. It has some ripe, showy aromas of violet pastille and blueberries, a resinous feel, notes of herbs (rosemary) and spices, and an earthy something. The palate is medium-bodied, with a fine texture, great balance and length. There are some fine, earthy tannins and I'd opt for holding to this one, as it will get better with time in bottle. It keeps changing in the glass, and as it slowly opens up it shows more complexity. This is a wine that sometimes confuses me, and I often have the feeling I could be underestimating it here; I wonder if they might see something I don't really get to justify the jump in price. However, this could well be considered an academic wine, as only 555 bottles were produced in 2012 (and even less in 2013).