Grapes: 90% Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo), 10% Garnacha and Graciano
This wine comes from vines grown from a number of small villages in the heart of Ribera del Duero; La Vid, Castrillo de la Vega, Aranda de Duero, Campillo de Aranda and Hoyales de Roa. None of the plots are subjected to anti-fungal treatments of any kind. Wine maker, Migel Angel Peñalba fashioned this wine from 60 year old vine Tinta del Pais, from small yields of less than 20 hectoliters/hectare. The Garnacha is added for its floral tones. Grapes were harvested in middle of October at the optimum of phenolic ripeness.
The wine proceeded with alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel with temperature control. The wine was fermented with native yeasts. Following completion of alcoholic fermentation the wine was racked to French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. 30% of barrels are new and 70% are 1 year old, they come from 4 forests; Tronçais, Fontainebleau, Vosgues and Compieigne. The wine was aged for 18 months in French oak prior to bottling.
View from the Cellar
The vineyards for this bottling are in Castrillo de la Vega (just west of Aranda del Duero) and farmed organically; the 2014 is listed at 14.5 percent octane (but seems just a touch riper than that to my palate). The bouquet shows a touch of sur maturité in its mix of baked plums and black cherries, chocolate, gentle balsamic tones, cigar wrapper and a very well done base of new oak. On the palate the wine is plush, full-bodied and nicely velvety on the attack, with a good core, fine length and grip, moderate tannins and just a bit of backend heat. There is a bit of uncovered oak tannin here as well, but the wine has good stuffing and probably will absorb these with a bit more bottle age. This is a really well-made wine in its style and not over the top at all, but it is a bit riper than I would like to see, with the higher alcohol leeching tannins out of the barrels a bit more aggressively and causing a bit of disequilibrium on the finish. There is considerable promise here. Jan/Feb 2017