2020 Torresilo, Cillar de Silos, Ribera del Duero, Spain
Torresilo is the most international in the style of Cillar de Silos' reds, with assertive ageing in 35% new wood. There's enough concentration and structure to soak up the splinters, with firm tannins and lots of grip and presence, but the wood somewhat masks the fruit intensity and freshness of the bodega's high-altitude vineyards.
Drink 2023 - 2028
Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com
About this WINE
Cillar de Silos
If one recalls one’s history, one will remember that it was the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile that set Spain on its road to unity. This is a somewhat whimsical introduction to Bodegas Cillar de Silos, which is located in the heart of Castille, Ribera del Duero to be precise, but owned and run by the brothers and sister team of Oscár, Roberto and Amelia Aragón.
They also manage the El Quintanal Estate in neighbouring wine region Rueda and are thus perfectly located for both red and white wine making, demonstrating all that is great about, respectively, Verdejo and Tempranillo as grape varieties.
The Aragóns define the House Philosophy with the words ‘purity, fruit, low yields, long ageing and hand selection’. The wines are finely crafted but demonstrably Spanish, which is good news!
Ribera del Duero
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
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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Lovely deep red and black fruit; notes of blackberries and blueberries and lifted summer fruits. Rich and dark fruit on the palate, lush and palate-filling, beautiful depth and balance, bright acidity and gentle, malleable tannins, that’s very good. Much less oak than in previous vintages and is much better for it.
Drink 2023 - 2030
Chris Pollington, Senior Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (January 2023)
The winemakers’ deftness is incredibly expressive now. The restrained use of oak allows the place to express itself; this is a delicious wine. I could comfortably drink this wine now but would look forward to the tannins softening and the fruit and oak spice integrating nicely.
Dark fruits have a lovely balance of bitterness and ripeness, deeply in the wild fruit range, that brings a deep level of complexity and refinement. Sweet spices abound provide more depth.
A delightful wine which is good for the soul and mind!
Chris Hanssen, Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (January 2023)
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