Dominio del Aguila Reserva 2015
The Reserva is a wine made from oldest vines near the village of Aguilera. Here the vineyards are mainly Tempranillo, but like old vines everywhere, there are many other varieties, red and white, mixed in. Rather than separate these varieties Jorge feels that a true representation of these sites is best captured by co-fermenting them. This cuvée sees nearly three years in barrel – half of that time waiting for the malolactic fermentation to finish! This slow elevage results in a wine with remarkable poise and complexity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I tasted two very different vintages of the red Reserva bottling, the warmer and riper 2015 Reserva and the cooler 2016. This 2015, despite the natural conditions of the year has managed to keep moderate alcohol and good freshness, possibly with the aid of old vines and surely through a lot of work in the vineyards. All their vineyards are organically farmed (now certified), and the wines ferment with indigenous yeasts and nothing is added or taken out, as they only use a minimal dose of sulfur. Even a red from a warm year like this took nine months to finish fermentation, so the vinification and aging is very slow. It matured in oak barrels for 35 months. This is a ripe and powerful year, with more rusticity and a different texture from the 2016 I tasted next to it. It's very tasty and supple, with chalky, slightly dusty tannins. This should polish those edges with some more time in bottle. 8,425 bottles and 319 magnums were filled in September 2018.
There’s clarity and brightness to this pretty wine with crushed-berry and flower character throughout. Full body. Layered and very polished. Long and flavorful finish. Drink now, but better after 2020.
Pícaro Tinto is made from fruit which is strictly selected from certified organic parcels chosen not only for their quality, but in response to vintage conditions. In warmer years, cooler sites are favored and in cooler vintages, warmer sites are utilized. The soils are heavier in clay, which in a dry climate like Ribera del Duero, prevents vine stress and promotes an even and gradual ripening of both the fruit and stems – vitally important for whole cluster, natural yeast fermentations. The wine is a co-fermented field blend of Tempranillo, Albillo (a white grape variety), Garnacha and Bobal. Despite its 12-20 months in French oak, it is bright, vibrant and aromatic. Bright and vibrant are usually not words associated with Ribera del Duero but it is certainly the case with the Pícaro Tinto.
Ribera del Duero is located in northen Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive from Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back more than 2000 years, it was in the 1980s that 9 wineries applied for and were granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 300 wineries call Ribera del Duero home, including some of Spain’s most iconic names.
Notable Facts Ribera’s main grape variety, Tempranillo, locally know as Tinto Fino, is perfectly suited to the extreme climate of the region, where it must survive scorching summers and frigid winters. Low yields resulting from conscientious tending to old vines planted in Ribera’s diverse soils types, give Ribera wines a distinctive depth and complexity not found in other Tempranillos. Rich and full-bodied, the spice, dark fruit and smoky flavors in a bold Ribera del Duero will pair well with roasted and grilled meats, Mexican food and tomato-based sauces.
Notoriously food-friendly, long-lasting and Spain’s most widely planted grape, Tempranillo is the star variety of red wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Rioja terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate both barrel and bottle time before release. Traditionally blended in Rioja with Garnacha, plus a bit of Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, the Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero typically stands alone. Somm Secret—Tempranillo claims many different names depending on location. In Penedès, it is called Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Known as Tinta Roriz in Portugal, Tempranillo plays an important role in Port wine.