2016 Dominio del Aguila Picaro del Aguila Clarete (750ml)

From Ribera del Duero, Castilla y Leon, Spain

B-21 Top Recommendation
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Jorge Monzon landed a walk-in gig at Domaine Romanee-Conti back in 2002. Why not start at the top? From Spain's Ribero del Duero region, Jorge didn't yet know French, but was studying enology and knew this was to be his life's oeuvre. The folks at DRC got that right. After spending an enviable two years with Bernard Noblet, DRC's cellar master, Jorge returned home to Ribero del Duero and with highest recommendation began work at yet another of the world's top wine addresses, Vega Sicilia. A year later he was offered a position as Technical Director at neighboring winery Arzuaga. During Jorge's decade at Arzuaga, he quietly began buying up small plots of very old vines in his hometown of Aguilera, in the district of Aranda de Duero. By 2013, his old-vine acquisitions had become his full-time vocation, and the beginning of Dominio del Aguila. With a treasure trove of old vines, everything is very traditional at Dominio del Aguila. Take Clarete, a traditional bend of red and white grapes that could be considered a Rose, but has the structure of a red wine but develops the aromatics of a white as it ages. Along with the rare Rose of Lopez de Heredia, Jorge's Clarete is the finest "pink" wine from Spain. The flagship of Dominio del Aguila is the Reserva, among the most intriguing wines of Spain today, reminiscent of the extraordinary blockbusters produced by Alejandro Fernadez at Pesquera in the late 1980s and 1990s.


2016 is an extraordinary vintage for Dominio del Águila, and the 2016 Pícaro del Águila Clarete is their finest to date. Their flagship "clarete" is produced with a blend of white and red grapes (35% Tempranillo, 35% Albillo and the rest of mixed varieties). They recovered this ancestral style of wine in the zone of Aranda de Duero, produced with grapes from very old organically farmed vineyards where there are a lot of varieties mixed in the field (Garnacha, Bobal, Bruñal, Monastrell, Tempranillo Gris, other Albillos, Garnacha Blanca, Pirulés, Jaén, Moscatel, Malvasías...), and they all fermented together with Tempranillo and the white Albillo to create what they describe as "a wine that is not a rosé and has aromas of white and the spirit of a red." The clusters are pressed directly and the must settles in concrete in their ancient caves, then it ferments slowly (over eight to nine months) in oak barrels, where the wine matured for a total of 17 months. This is a wine that ages magnificently in bottle, and together with the rosé from López de Heredia (that technically is also a "clarete"), these are the two most characterful and best pink wines produced in Spain today. This 2016 in particular could be the freshest and closer to a white, with citrus notes and a vibrant palate, and the oak is better integrated than ever. 9,830 bottles and 190 magnums were filled in February 2018.

94 points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 246 - Dec 2019)


27 bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.

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