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Aalto, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018
Ribera del Duero
Rich and clearly Ribera but the velvety, silky tannins and beautifully supple fruit make it deceptively easy to drink right from release. Highly complex on the nose with intense aromas of black cherry and raspberry and subtle notes of wood spice, liquorice and coffee beans. A wine that will gain complexity over the years.
This wine is a monovarietal of Tinto Fino/Tempranillo. The grapes used to obtain Aalto come from very old vines, between 40 and 80 years old, and young vines. Aged for 16 months in 20% new barriques.
Now with twenty vintages under their belts and a highly detailed understanding of the scores of parcels of old vines they own, Aalto has well and truly established itself as one of the great wines of both Ribera del Duero and Spain in general. It is hardly surprising given that it was established in 1999 as a collaboration between Javier Zaccagnini and Mariano Garcia, the former an ex-director of Ribera’s Consejo Regulador, the latter winemaker at Vega Sicilia for 30 years.
In their state-of-the-art, gravity fed winery the team receive the multiple plots in refrigerated rooms for sorting and de-stemming before parcel by parcel vinification down below. Ageing takes place in barriques with a selection of the finest plots, generally with a “heart” of wine from the great village of La Horra, being selected to make Aalto PS (Pagos Seleccionados).
Aalto now hails from seven different villages across the region with vineyards averaging 40-80 years of age. Over the years, the proportion of new oak and time in barrel has reduced to around 50%, purely French, and just 16-18 months before bottling.
In 2018 Javier Zaccagnini left Aalto for pastures new, handing over to Eduardo Ferrin who becomes Managing Director, while Mariano Garcia remains in place as head of the winemaking team.