2004 Aurus, Finca Allende, Rioja, Spain
Neal Martin - 31/08/2012
About this WINE
Finca Allende, the estate created by Brother and sister team Mercedes and Miguel Angel de Gregorio, is located in the hill town of Briones in the Rioja Alta. 'Allende' can be roughly translated as 'further'; its philosophy is to go further and further towards creating the perfect Rioja. This has been done by marrying the old and the new, by embracing the traditional grape varieties but then treating them to new French oak. A further distinguishing characteristic, apart from their ripeness and structure, is that Allende's best wines are vineyard-based, with focus on the expression of Rioja's varied terroir.
Finca Allende's production comes from their own 22 hectares supplemented by contracts with certain other growers in Briones. The principal cuvée is 100% Tempranillo aged for thirteen months in predominantly French oak. The oldest vines (Tempranillo with some Graciano) are kept back to make Aurus.
The full potential of the estate is eloquently illustrated by Calvario, a single-vineyard wine from 65+ year-old Tempranillo vines with magnificent aromatics and lush fruit, that clearly underlines the family's qualitative aspirations.
Best of BBX: Rioja
A high quality red wine grape that is grown all over Spain except in the hot South - it is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepenas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its spiritual home is in Rioja and Navarra where it constitutes around 70% of most red blends.
Tempranillo-based wines tend to have a spicy, herbal, tobacco-like character accompanied by ripe strawberry and red cherry fruits. It produces fresh, vibrantly fruit driven "jovenes" meant for drinking young. However Tempranillo really comes into its own when oak aged, as with the top Riojas where its flavours seem to harmonise perfectly with both French and American oak, producing rich, powerful and concentrated wines which can be extraordinarily long-lived.
In Ribera del Duero it generally sees less oak - the exception being Vega Sicilia where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and then aged for an astonishing 7 years in oak and is unquestionably one of the world`s greatest wines.
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A perfect ambassador for new-wave Rioja from a memorable recent vintage. There are truffles and wild herbs on the nose and a full, richly textured palate with excellent length. A wine for keeping.
The 2004 Aurus is 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano from 60-year-old vineyards with tiny yields. It was barrel fermented and aged in 100% new French oak. The wine is still a baby, with lots of fat, sweet, layered, mouth-filling fruit, plenty of structure, and a pure, super-long finish. It merits... bottle age and should still be drinking well two decades from now. Kudos to Finca Allende for a magnificent set of 2004 Riojas! J. Miller in e-RobertParker.com (Feb 07)
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