|94||Wine Review Online||Arrocal is a terrific bodega that turns out amazing Tempranillo (or Tinto Fino, as it is known locally) at multiple price levels in every vintage (not almost every vintage; every vintage). I tasted through the entire lineup last summer, and have several reviews to publish soon, but this one deserves some press right now…after turning in the performance of the night at a blind tasting class of 12 wines from 12 countries a couple of weeks ago. Although there were two incredible whites and a 13 year-old, $130 Napa Cab also in the lineup, this was the standout on account of impeccable purity and virtually perfect balance between fruit, acidity, wood and tannin. It is so seamless and so obviously delicious that, when tasting it, you would never actually think of “fruit, acidity, wood and tannin.” Only in retrospect might you reflect on those component parts, as the whole is so compellingly greater than the sum of those parts.
October 29, 2019
|88-90+||View from the Cellar||Bodegas Arrocal is located in the village of Gumiel del Mercado in the eastern end of the plateau of Castilla y León, which is decidedly cooler than the western end of Ribera del Duero. Their most famous neighbor is of course Goyo García. The fruit for their Arrocal Selección bottling comes from a fine old vineyard. and, as I reported last year is raised in a fifty-fifty blend of new and one wine French oak casks. The 2014 is an even fourteen percent alcohol and offers up a youthfully complex bouquet of black cherries, cassis, cigar smoke, a fine base of soil tones, graphite and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and well-stocked at the core, with fine soil signature, impressive focus and blossoming complexity and very good length and grip on the inherently elegant, moderately chewy finish. As I mentioned in my note on the 2011 Arrocal Selección last year, the new oak impression here is a bit strident in the young wine and detracts a bit from what is really a stunning wine underneath the wood treatment. There is a lot of oak spice on the nose and a bit of presently uncovered wood tannins on the finish. I would bet there is enough depth of fruit to eventually carry the oak tannins more seamlessly, but utterly brilliant raw materials are being hampered by the new wood here. Raise this wine in one and two wine casks and it would be one of the best wines in Spain, but the good 2014 is not quite there. I know that new oak is an important selling point in the Spanish domestic market, but just lie to your local clients and use older casks and no one is going to complain, as the wine is going to be dramatically better. There is such indisputable greatness lying under the wood veneer here that it would be worth a bit of prevarication, and one can always go to confession more often! 2022-2050+. 88-90+ (depending on how well the wine eventually absorbs the oak here).|