Drink 2022 to 2038
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (August 2022)
I was very pleasantly surprised by the bottled 2017 Vivaltus despite the fact that 2017 was a challenging year and was decimated by terrible frost in April that resulted in losses of up to 60% of the crop. The end of the season was warm and the harvest early, so the growing cycle was quite short. The wine is floral, perfumed, elegant and insinuating; the oak feels pretty integrated, and the palate is balanced with very good tannins (not as refined as those from the 2016 or 2018). A triumph over the adverse conditions of the vintage.
Drink 2021 - 2027
Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Jun 2021)
About this WINE
Vivaltus is a new Yllera family project with a long winemaking history in Spain’s Ribera del Duero region. Recently, the team brought in legendary consultant Jean-Claude Berrouet, best known for his 44 vintages making the wine at Petrus in Pomerol, Bordeaux.
The vineyards here are among the highest in Ribera del Duero, up to 1,000 meters above sea level. The vines are 80 years of age on average, although some are more than a century old. They grow mostly Tempranillo here, with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot making up the balance. In the winery, Jean-Claude uses minimal new oak – starkly contrasting many top wines in the region.
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.