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Dominio del Aguila 'Picaro del Aguila' Vinas Viejas Tinto, Ribera del Duero 2021

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Winemaker Jorge Monzón has an impressive résumé. This is highlighted by an internship at Domaine La Romanée-Conti with Bernard Noblet as well as two years at Vega Sicilia upon returning to the Ribera del Duero region prior to taking on the role of technical director at Arzuaga-Navarro.

It was whilst at Arzuaga-Navarro that he began to purchase small parcels of vines around the village of La Aguilera. Parcels of old, under-productive Tempranillo vines that were earmarked for being ripped up and replaced by more fashionable Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals. These purchases would be the foundation for Dominio del Águila, founded with Jorge's partner Isabel Rodero in 2010. The winery is certified organic.

Pícaro Tinto Viñas Viejas is a co-fermented blend of primarily Tempranillo with some Albillo, Garnacha and Bobal. The vines have an average age of 60 years and sit at altitudes of between 800-900m.

Fruit is hand harvested. Natural yeasts and whole cluster co-fermentations are central to his winemaking process. Punch-down is carried out by foot. The wine spends 12-20 months in French oak barrels, with no racking/return.The wine has a vibrant nose of black and red fruits intertwined with woodsmoke and violets. On the palette the wine shows fleshy black fruit and a balance between power with surprising freshness. A pleasing silky textural quality persists in a long finish with polished tannic structure. Overall, a more nuanced approach than sometimes heavy-handed Ribera reds, perhaps a reflection of Jorge's focus on tradition and the importance of sense of place in his winemaking philosophy. Pair this red wine with Roast Lamb, Jamon tapas, meat based ragu dishes.

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