Last night I was drinking a great bottle of Masia Barril 1988 Priorato with some friends who had come to stay. I must have bought it some time in the early 1990's from the Moreno shop in Paddington. Still completely fresh with lots of Garnacha character. One of them lived there at the time and said that it was great until Robert Parker discovered the wines and then it all went downhill. I think that the reality is that a group of well funded producers made a concerted and orchestrated attempt to be "discovered" and recognised as makers of the most expensive wines in Spain. The likes of Clos Mogador and Alvarro Palacios are excellent in a modern style meets exceptional vine stock kind of way but ,you can't help but think that being the most expensive was the motivation and the marketing tool.
I've met Palacios and liked him (and his wines) a great deal and he always had a clear sight of what his message was going to be. He was completely un abashed even before release in saying that he was going to make some of the world's highest priced wines.
I look at our hectare of thriving vines and think about our plans for reserving still wines for future blends, barrel fermentation and lots of bottle aging and know that, however good the wine will be, - I'm no Alvarro Palacios.