2014 Bodegas Alión, Ribera del Duero, Spain

2014 Bodegas Alión, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Product: 20141130429
2014 Bodegas Alión, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Description

The 2013 vintage was tricky in Ribera del Duero but Alión is a triumph. Sweet red Victoria plum notes on the nose are allied with a gentle strawberry perfume. This sweet strawberry and cranberry character continues on the palate but is held in check by the high level of very fine tannins which add precision and focus. This is a pretty, elegant Alión with much more subtlety than the 2012. It would be gorgeous to drink soon and will mellow even more over the next 10 years. Drink now to 2024.
Catriona Felstead MW, Wine Buyer
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About this WINE

Bodegas Alion

Bodegas Alion

Bodegas Alión was formed in 1986, owned by but run separately to its neighbour, the great Vega Sicilia.

This 85-hectare wine estate was founded by the Álvarez family (who also own the Toro estate Bodegas Pintia) to provide a modern expression of Ribera del Duero. The wine is made with 35 hectares around the winery, as well as a further 50 hectares dedicated to Alión within the historic Vega Sicilia vineyards.


Unlike Vega Sicilia, where we find a merging of traditional and modern winemaking techniques, Alión is made using state-of-the-art equipment. Forward and uncompromising, these are wines with impressive frames and show an alternative side of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo).

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Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero

In the last 30 years, Ribera del Duero has risen up to challenge Rioja for the crown of Spain's greatest wine region. Once known only as the home of Vega Sicilia it now boasts numerous bodegas of outstanding quality, from Hacienda Monasterio to Cillar de Silos. The region was granted its DO status in 1982, and today has over 200 wineries and more than 20,000 hectares of vines.

In the last 30 years, Ribera del Duero has emerged from almost nowhere to challenge Rioja for the crown of Spain's greatest wine region. Once known only as the home of Vega Sicilia it now boasts numerous bodegas of outstanding quality like Cillar de Silos, Alión and Hacienda Monasterio. Ribera del Duero was granted its DO status in 1982, at a time when only nine bodegas were operating there, yet today it has over 200 wineries and more than 20,000 hectares of vines. Most of Ribera del Duero's production is red, with only a modest quantity of rosado produced. No white wines are allowed under the DO.

Ribera del Duero owes its success to a combination of factors: firstly, its terroir of schistous sub-soil bears remarkable similarity to other famous winemaking regions such as the Douro and Priorat. Secondly, its microclimate, with its high altitude, hot days and cool nights (a phenomenon known as “diurnal variation”), ensures ripeness while preserving the vivacity of the fruit, aromatic flavours and refreshing acidity.

Thirdly, it has been blessed with an exceptional native grape, Tempranillo (also known as Tinto del País or Tinto Fino). This yields superb, complex red wines that are delicious when young but which also have the capacity to age into magnificent Gran Reservas. Finally, the immense influence of its winemakers has been key – historically, of course, Vega Sicilia, but more recently Peter Sisseck (Hacienda Monasterio) and the indefatigable Aragón family of Cillar de Silos.

The same DO rules govern Ribera's barrel-aged styles as for Rioja: Crianzas are aged for two years before release with at least a year in oak barrels; Reservas must be three years old with at least a year spent in oak; and, finally, Gran Reservas must be five years old before going on sale, with two years spent in barrel. The young (joven) unoaked red wines, called Roble, tend to boast a moreish, vibrant, bramble fruit while the best oak-aged styles of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva show intense, generous fruit, overlaid with notes of vanilla and sweet spice, and wrapped up in polished, elegant tannins.

Recommended producers: Vega Sicilia (including Alión), Cillar de Silos, Hacienda Monasterio

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Tempranillo/Tinto Fino

Tempranillo/Tinto Fino

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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Critics reviews

The Wine Advocate94/100
The Wine Advocate94/100
2014 is a better vintage in Ribera del Duero than in Rioja, and the 2014 Alin shows it. Sourced from 130 hectares of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) in Ribera del Duero and possibly the most modern of the Vega Sicilia Group wines, it's silky, voluptuous, jammy, ripe and generous without being too much. The grapes fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats, and the wine matured in new and second use French barriques for 12 to 14 months. It's quite ripe and powerful yet balanced and with great freshness. The palate is medium to full-bodied with lots of fruit, juicy and showy, modern without excess. 284,284 bottles along with 6,500 magnums and some larger formats were produced. You might want to give it some more time in bottle. It was bottled in June 2016.
Luis Gutirrez - 31/08/2018 Read more