2016 dominio aguila, ribera del duero, penas aladas gran reserva
Why We're Buying
Dominio Aguila is helping to bring Spanish wine to the international stage. Penas Aladas Gran Reserva ranks as one of the country's most popular wines. Luis Gutiérrez gave the 2013 vintage a 99-point rating, describing its "magnetic attraction that makes you go back over and over again."
Peñas Aladas is one of the coolest spots in La Aguilera and can struggle in frost-affected years like 2016. Production of the resulting wine is small at only 1,500 bottles, but this is consistently among the region's best wines. Aged for 54 months in mostly older barrels, it’s a whole bunch-fermented cuvée of Tinto Fino with 5 of other white and red grapes. Chalky, chiselled and pithy with sinewy tannins and impressive depth. Drinking Window: 2022 - 2030.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Their Gran Reserva style red 2015 Peñas Aladas Gran Reserva had a very long aging in barrel a total of 54 months including six months of malolactic fermentation. This comes from a myriad of small plots of some of the oldest vines in the village of La Aguilera in the same zone that names the wine at 870 to 890 meters in altitude. The valley receives very cold winds from the Duero River and the vineyards are surrounded by junipers pines and oak trees which makes it up to three degrees Celsius lower than the rest of the village one of the coldest places in the whole of Ribera del Duero. The soils have a layer of sand that is gradually mixed with clay until around one meter deep and then there's a layer of marl and limestone a textbook soil for the vine. 2015 was a powerful vintage and there was some frost that also delivered a little more concentration. The wine has an old Ribera del Duero style with some rusticity and lots of power energy and concentration but with great balance. It has plenty of fine tannins and lots of chalkiness. This should be very long lived. 2223 bottles and 41 magnums were hand bottled unfiltered and unfined in May 2020.
The youth freshness balance and harmony of the 2016 Peñas Aladas Gran Reserva is gobsmacking. The wine is a little shy insinuating reticent and a little closed and it feels younger than it is. It comes from a collection of small plots of some of the oldest vines in the village of La Aguilera in the lieu-dit or "paraje" that names the wine in a small valley surrounded by pine holm and juniper trees where there is a cold draft of air and the temperature is lower than in the rest of the village. The soils are sandy and intermixed with clay on a marl mother rock. The plants are mostly Tempranillo but as they are very old vines there's always a field blend of other varieties?Albillo Mayor Monastrell Garnacha Bobal and Cariñena?all fermented together with full clusters that were foot trodden in concrete vats and indigenous yeasts. Malolactic was in barrel and lasted for 11 months while the élevage was extended to a total of 55 months (almost five years!). After all this time in barrels the wine is not oaky at all; it's floral and perfumed elegant nuanced and layered. The texture is silky and it's medium-bodied with moderate ripeness 14 alcohol and very good freshness denoted by a pH of 3.41. It has fine tannins that make it nicely textured and fine-boned with subtle minerality. This should be veeeeeery long lived as it has the stuffing all the ingredients and the balance between them to make old bones. Amazing juice. 3591 bottles and 51 magnums were filled in April 2021. At Dominio del Águila they are building an extension to their winery in the outskirts of La Aguilera the hamlet of Aranda de Duero where they have an impressive collection of old head-pruned vineyards?35 hectares all certified organic (like all their wines) vines averaging 100 years of age to produce their current 50000 bottles with the idea to eventually reach 80000 bottles. There is a new-single vineyard "clarete" rosé from Peñas Aladas in 2020 an ideal vintage that follows the style of the cool 2016 and they don't stop experimenting and searching for new ways.