Dominio del Aguila Ribera del Duero Reserva 2016

97 Points, The Wine Advocate

Quite different from the 2015 was the 2016 Reserva, a red from a cooler year with good yields, so they were able to increase production of this wine over twofold and increase the quality! It took some seven months to complete fermentation, and the élevage in barrel lasted some 29 months. It has an incredible nose, violets and something musky, intriguing, complex and nuanced, mysterious and difficult to define, with some notes reminiscent of soy sauce. The palate is seamless and with terrific balance, a silky texture and very fine but chalky tannins. This is an amazing Ribera del Duero. 18,834 bottles and 519 magnums produced. It was bottled in April 2019.

Dominio del Águila is now a sizable project with some 70,000 bottles produced from the 2018 vintage, as they make and bottle more wine and sell less grapes from one of the most impressive collections of old vines in Ribera del Duero. Even if the reds are the better-known wines from the appellation, here the "clarete," a pink wine produced with a mixture of red and white grapes, and the extraordinary white, a new category just allowed by the appellation of origin, have a special interest, as they are role models of their kind. They recovered the "clarete" category and were one of the first to bet seriously on the production of whites and push for the inclusion of the category in the allowed wines from the appellation.

About their work, their vineyards are certified organic; they do not own a destemmer and everything is fermented with indigenous yeasts and in a very traditional way: foot treading the bunches to free the juice, fermenting all the grapes from the field blend of varieties (always dominated by Tempranillo or Albillo) together in slow fermentations in very cold cellars and the wines also require a long and slow aging in oak barrels. These are true "vins de garde."


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