|91+||View from the Cellar||The 2009 Vivencias from Oscar Hernando’s Pago el Almendro winery was produced from his 1.4 hectare vineyard, located at nearly a thousand meters above sea level and planted twenty years ago entirely to Tempranillo. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then undergoes malo in barrel, with one-third of the casks new in any given vintage. The 2009 comes in at 14.5 percent alcohol, but manages its ripeness brilliantly and shows great freshness to both the nose and palate and virtually no signs of backend heat. The very stylish nose wafts from the glass in a classy blend of plums, black cherries, mocha, fresh nutmeg, a bit of Tempranillo spice tones, cigar wrapper, a touch of lead pencil and a fairly discreet base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and velvety on the attack, with a fine core of fruit, excellent focus and grip, ripe, firm tannins and outstanding balance for aging. The finish is long, moderately chewy and quite complex, with great management of ripeness to ensure a fairly cool mouthfeel and virtually no issues with extraction of uncovered wood tannins on the backend. This needs a few years in the cellar to soften up a bit on the finish, but it is quite nicely balanced and will be an excellent wine with a bit of bottle age. The remainder of the barrels used for the elevage of this wine are one and two wine casks, and it seems to me that this could be even better if these older casks were retained for a longer period of time and the one-third new oak was augmented by more neutral barrels, to give even more elegance and food friendliness to the finished wine. But, that said, this is really a well-made bottling and head and shoulders over an awful lot of far more famous wines from neighboring Ribera del Duero! 2019-2040.|
|90||Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar||Bright violet color. Fresh black raspberry and cherry aromas are brightened by suggestions of white pepper and fresh rose. Tangy red and dark berry flavors have striking depth and sweetness, with a bright mineral note adding lift and urgency. Picks up a candied floral quality in the glass and finishes with appealing sweetness and very good length.|
|90||The Wine Advocate||Pago El Almendro is the personal project of Oscar Hernando, the owner of the best modern-cuisine restaurant in Segovia, Maracaibo (highly recommended) in the red wine zone of the province of Segovia, Valtiendas, where his family had roots and vineyards and had always produced wine.
The wine they have produced since the beginning is now in the 2011 vintage. I'm talking about the 2011 Viviencias, pure Tempranillo from the zone of Valtiendas in the province of Segovia, from vines planted on a plateau at 955 meters altitude where the soils are chalk-rich and covered with boulders. The nose is quite perfumed, showing ripeness and generous oaking, coming through as quite attractive, a little jammy and showy. The palate is medium-bodied with moderate tannins and acidity, in a style that can remind you of a Ribera del Duero. 7,000 bottles.
Issue #221 - October 2015
|90||Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar||Dark ruby. Fragrant scents of blueberry preserves, vanilla, spicy oak and woodsmoke. Round and seamless, with nicely concentrated dark fruit flavors complemented by mocha and licorice. Gentle tannins shape the finish, which lingers with appealing sweetness.|