Maybe the most anticipated purchase of wine I have made in the last few years. I first had this from barrel and it blew me away. Only a few barrels of this "old vine" white 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 & 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 & 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 & gravel soils, the wine spends 10-14 months in neutral French oak barriques on the fine lees, with no bâtonnage or racking.
My Tasting Note: The color was 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 remarkable acidity that reigned in like a samurai sword on the finish.
FUN FACT: While Albillo is a grape, Albillo is also a catch-all name for a diverse collection of different white grapes in Spain. The name derives from the Spanish word for white & Albillo can differ from region to region & within a single D.O. Jorge only picks actual Albillo grapes to make this Blanco.
Grapes: Albillo from 70+-year-old vines
Soil: Sandy clay limestone, heavier clay, gravel
Vinification: Hand harvested, whole cluster pressing by foot into neutral French oak barrels, long, slow natural yeast fermentation taking up to 10 months
Maturation: 12-14 months in neutral French oak barrels on the fine lees, no bâtonnage or racking, aged in bottle until Jorge feels it is ready for release
96 Robert Parker Wine Advocate The second vintage produced, the 2014 Blanco unfortunately is still not allowed to carry the Ribera del Duero appellation even though it's produced with the traditional white Albillo grape grown in old vineyards in the zone. The 2014 Blanco is nothing short of spectacular. It's produced with the grapes from individual ancient vines planted in old, organically farmed vineyards on clay and limestone soils at some 800 meters in altitude. It has moderate alcohol (13%) and a very low pH (3.08), which translates into great freshness and a sharp and serious palate obtained by fermenting the juice from foot-trodden full clusters with indigenous yeasts in concrete and oak vats for about one year, during which time the wine was kept with the lees that were not stirred or racked. It was hand bottled without fining or filtering in March 2017. It has the flinty, sesame seed-like reduction I find in some fine white Burgundies. It has a fresh and balanced palate and is terribly mineral. It's even better than the initial 2012, and especially the oak feels better integrated. My guess is this white is going to age nicely and for a long time in bottle. This has to be among the finest unfortified whites from Spain. Bravo! 1,380 bottles and 41 magnums produced.- Luis Guttierez, RP WA