2012 Hacienda Monasterio Crianza, Ribera del Duero (750ml)

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# ESHAMO12AE
Country: Spain
Region: Castilla y Leon
Sub-Region: Ribera del Duero
Grape Varietal: Tempranillo
Review Score: 94WA, 93V, 93JS
B-21 Top Recommendation: Read More

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The current vintage for the crianza is 2012. The 2012 Crianza, from a dry vintage, resulted much fresher than expected, fresher than 2009 and 2011 in fact. The vines are dry-farmed and were planted some 22 years ago, and you might say they have matured by now. The approximate mixture of grapes in their vineyards is mostly Tempranillo with some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, and it's more or less the blend in this wine. The Cabernet works well, providing finesse and some acidity to the Tempranillo. Merlot does not work that well, and they are regrafting it to Cabernet and Malbec, so in future vintages there will be less of it. The wine matured in 20% new French oak barrels for some 20 months. There are no traces of the barriques and the nose took me to the Riberas of yesteryear, with some subtle rusticity; it's ripe without excess and there's good balance between fruit, spices and perhaps something earthy. The palate is extremely balanced, medium-bodied with very fine tannins, tasty, approachable and long. This could very well be the best crianza ever produced at Monasterio. This has to be one of the bargains of the vintage in Ribera, given the quality it delivers. 175,000 bottles produced.

94 points, eRobertParker.com (Issue # 221 - Oct 2015)

Deep ruby. Pungent cherry pit, raspberry and spicecake aromas are complemented by Asian spices, woodsmoke and minerals. Succulent and expansive on the palate, offering sappy red berry liqueur and floral flavors and a subtle licorice pastille quality. Concentrated yet vibrant and precise, finishing with excellent clarity, velvety tannins and excellent tenacity.

93 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous (Sep 2015)

A crisp red with plum, berry and mineral aromas and flavors. Full body, dense center palate and a minerally aftertaste. Fresh and bright. Drink now.

93 points, James Suckling (Jul 2015)