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Aalto 2010

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • RP94
  • ST92
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Winemaker Notes

This wine's elegance and fruitful presence perfectly displays the vintage's Atlantic influence. In the nose, it offers freshness and a sharp minerality highlighting its complexity. On the palate, you experience excellence structure that is both round and sweet, with silky and persistent tannins, perfectly merged with the acidity and alcohol. It's a complex and long wine that keeps its presence in the mouth, exhibiting a wide range of flavors.

Pairs well with game, roasted lamb, stews and mature cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 2010 Aalto was assembled and ready for bottling when I visited the winery. It is already showing great precision and focus on the nose with vanilla-tinged dark cherry and cassis fruit, followed by an undertow of candied orange peel. The palate is already displaying wonderful balance, with supple, very fine tannins and a luscious, sweet candied finish that offers blood orange and tangerine-infused dark fruit. There is a crisp theme of acidity to keep everything balanced. This is very promising. Drink 2016-2030.
Range: 92-94

ST 92
International Wine Cellar

Opaque violet color. Ripe dark berry, cola and floral aromas, with a strong accent of incense. Fat, sweet and palate-staining, offering intense red and dark berry preserve flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Powerful yet comes off as quite graceful. Finishes very long and sweet, with supple tannins and persistent spiciness.

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Aalto
Aalto, , Spain
Aalto
Like much of viticultural Spain, Ribera del Duero has a long history of winemaking. As far back as 2,000 years ago, there is strong evidence of grape growing and winemaking by the Romans. As early as the 16th century, the region began to establish rules governing varietals and quality levels. Located northwest of Madrid, the region is based around the Duero river which unites over 100 small villages and covers 115 kilometers of vineyard land along the riverbanks and further north and south.

It is ironic that one of the youngest properties in the region has one of the most prestigious lineages, but it is the case with Bodegas Aalto. A chance meeting between Mariano Garcia, former star winemaker of Vega Sicilia, and Javier Zaccagnini, former President of the governing body of the Ribera del Duero AOC, gave birth to this quality-oriented estate which produced its first vintage in 1999, a year after its creation.

Ribera del Duero does not benefit from the constantcy of climate in the Southern part of the country and experiences dramatic shifts in temperatures and climatic conditions throughout the year. The winters are quite cold, with temperatures as low as –18 degrees Celsius, and the summers are hot and very dry, with lower than average rainfall than the rest of Spain. Altitude is between 750 and 950 meters and the soil is made up of clay alternated in many parts by sheets of limestone and harder chalk.

Mariano Garcia designed and commissioned the 15,000 liter fermentation tanks formed from stainless steel, and there are other wood fermentation tanks which will soon be used. The original conical shape comes from Mariano’s desire to control and maneuver the cap of the must during the remouage. Each vineyard is harvested, vinified, and aged separately before assemblage just prior to bottling. There is no filtration of the wines following a lengthy ageing in barrel.

The property owns vines in three different sub-zones of Ribera del Duero with a total of 32 hectares scattered between Valladolid and Burgos. The parcels are planted to old clones of Tinto Fino. The property is continuing to buy exceptional parcels of old Tinto Fino, most recently a 10 hectare plot in Quemada of 60+ year old vines of exceptional quality. While some experts believe that Tinto Fino is in fact not far removed from Tempranillo, many experts based in Ribera del Duero strongly believe that there are significant differences between the two varietals, most notably with Tinto Fino over 50 years old.

Piedmont

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A prestigious and distinctive region for red wines in northwestern Italy...

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A prestigious and distinctive region for red wines in northwestern Italy, Piedmont is responsible for some of the country’s longest-lived, most sought-after wines. Set in the foothills of the Alps, the terrain consists of visually stunning rolling hills. The most prized vines are planted at higher altitudes on the warmer, south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. The climate is continental, with cold winters and hot, muggy summers. Despite the rain shadow effect of the Alps, precipitation takes place year-round, and a cooling fog provides moisture that aids in the ripening of grapes.

Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin, and juicy red fruit. However, the most prized variety is Nebbiolo, named for the region’s omnipresent fog (“nebbia” in Italian). This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins, and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure, and the best examples, when made in a traditional style, require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. More affordable and imminently drinkable Nebbiolo can be found in the larger Langhe area as well as Gattinara, Ghemme, and other less-prominent appellations. Dolcetto is Piedmont’s other important red grape, ready to drink as quickly as Barbera but with lower acidity and higher tannin. White wines are less important here but can be high in quality, and include Arneis, Gavi, and sweet, fizzy wines made from Muscat.

RPT35962401_2010 Item# 124065

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