|90||Vinous Media||(aged for eight months in French and American oak, 25% new): Deep ruby. Heady aromas of ripe blackberry and cherry, with complicating vanilla and violet flourishes. Lush and broad in the mouth, offering palate-coating dark berry and cherry compote flavors and a subtle floral pastille nuance. Finishes smooth and long, with resonating spiciness, a hint of smokiness and harmonious tannins. With no excess fat or easy sweetness, this is pretty energetic for such a brawny wine. 2017 – 2021|
|89||The Wine Advocate||The 2014 Aptus is a young and fruit-driven Tempranillo with 5% Garnacha from ten-year-old, organically farmed vines. The grapes fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts and the wine matured in French and American oak barrels for six months. It's clean, fresh and feels alive, the nose has an herbal touch and something wild/balsamic that makes it feel quite young. The palate is juicy, pleasant and easy, with fine tannins and moderate acidity. 12,000 bottles. 2017 - 2019|
|90||Vinous Media||(fermented in stainless steel tanks, with malolactic fermentation and six months of aging in used French and American oak barrels) Bright violet. Spice-tinged aromas of ripe black and blue fruits are joined in the glass by a hint of vanilla. Appealingly sweet and expansive on the palate, offering plush blueberry and cassis flavors that pick up a smoky nuance on the back half. Gentle tannins shape a very persistent, dark-fruited finish that leaves behind a lively suggestion of cracked pepper.|
|89||View from the Cellar||The Aptus Tinto from Bodegas Peñalba Herraiz was a new wine to me this year, with their 2015 coming in at 14.5 percent alcohol and having spent six months of its elevage in oak casks. The wine is a blend of ninety-five percent Tempranillo and the other five percent a mix of Garnacha and Monastrell, with the vineyards farmed organically and in conversion to biodynamics. Indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation and no enzymes are utilized in the cellars. The 2015 Aptus has a ripe, but pure nose of black cherries, plums, dark chocolate, clovelike spice tones, a bit of lead pencil and spicy oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely light on its feet, with a good core, moderate tannins and good length and grip on the very slightly hot finish. There are a lot of good things going on here, but the 14.5 percent octane gets just a bit distracting on the backend and keeps the score down a tad. If the bodegas could get this into the fourteen percent range, it would be stunning, rather than just pretty good! I should mention that this is also very reasonably priced for Ribera del Duero, retailing here in the US at seventeen dollars a bottle. 2017-2035.|
|90||View from the Cellar||I quite liked the 2015 Aptus Tinto from Bodegas Peñalba Herraiz last year and the 2016 vintage is a fine follow-up. Readers may recall that this is a blend of ninety-five percent Tempranillo and the other five percent a mix of Garnacha and Monastrell, with the vineyards farmed organically and in conversion to biodynamics. The 2016 version comes in at the same 14.5 percent alcohol as the 2015 and offers up a complex nose of red and black cherries, a touch of cassis, cigar smoke, a nice touch of spice, good soil elements and a gentle framing of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with good soil signature, a fine core, moderate, well-integrated tannins and a long, well-balanced finish. This is not your typical, plush, fruit-driven Ribera del Duero, but a wine with good soil signature and fine promise for down the road, but it will need a couple years in the cellar to blossom. A superb value! 2021-2045+.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
|87||Wine & Spirits Magazine||Rich in herbal notes and generous in ripe red fruit, this is a tame Ribera, expansive and creamy. It would be good company for a Cuban pork sandwich.