Dominio del Aguila 'Vinas Viejas' Albillo 2014
Ribera del Duero, Spain
Maybe the most anticipated purchase of wine I have made in the last few years. I first had this from barrel (swipe to see photos from my visit to the winery) and it blew me away. Only a few barrels of this "old vine" are made in each vintage and the wine is incredible and has shot to the top of the list of the greatest dry white wines of Spain. If you love white Burgundy, or the idea of what Lopez de Heredia whites might taste like with less oxidative and oak effects, or the Blanco from Remelluri (another of Spain's great whites!), this is where it's at!
Jorge Monzon got his start at #DRC of all places and also did a stint for several years at Vega Sicilia before going home to Aguilera to start Aguila.
Made from 70+ year-old organically farmed vines planted in sandy limestone, clay and gravel soils, the wine spends 10-14 months in neutral French oak barriques on the fine lees, with no bâtonnage or racking.
The color was a slightly deep gold, clear and shimmering, youthful but apparent it spent time in a barrel. The nose was dense and a little tight at first so I decanted and by the time it was on all cylinders in a multi-layered and very complex bouquet that I drew deep lemon citrus, mildly spiced and juicy fresh apple, orange blossom and white florals, with a slight touch of sea spray. This kind of felt like a hypo-blend of Meursault and Chassagne. The palate was intense, powerful and focused, adding to the complexity dimension was a long finish and rermarkable acidity that reigned in like a samarai sword on the finish.
I'd love to put this head to head with Telmo Rodriguez' Remelluri Blanco for the fun of it!
FUN FACT: While Albillo is a grape, Albillo is also a catch-all name for a diverse collection of different white grape varieties in Spain. The name derives from the Spanish word for white and Albillo can differ from region to region and within a single D.O. Jorge only picks actual Albillo grapes to make this Blanco.
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