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Vega Sicilia Alión Ribera del Duero 2018

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  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: 2018
  • ABV: 14.5%
  • Origin: Ribera del Duero / Spain
  • Grapes: Tempranillo

Description

Bodegas Alión was formed in 1986, owned by but run separately to its neighbour, the great Vega Sicilia. This 85-hectare wine estate was founded by the Álvarez family (who also own the Toro estate Bodegas Pintia) to provide a modern expression of Ribera del Duero. The wine is made with 35 hectares around the winery, as well as a further 50 hectares dedicated to Alión within the historic Vega Sicilia vineyards. Unlike Vega Sicilia, where we find a merging of traditional and modern winemaking techniques, Alión is made using state-of-the-art equipment. Forward and uncompromising, these are wines with impressive frames and show an alternative side of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo).

The 2018 Alión follows the path of the 2016: it is fresh and elegant and from a cooler (more Atlantic) vintage with more rain than the average and a relatively late harvest between September 28th and October 12th. They used 80% new barrels, with up to 10% made of American oak looking to (in their own words) give more sucrosity and sweetness to the wine, as it's a more vertical, tense and elegant expression of Alión. Part of the wine matured in concrete (something they started in 2016), and in 2021 they are experimenting with a 4,000-liter Rousseau foudre, as they want to keep working the texture and freshness. The wine is ripe at 15% alcohol and has a pH of 3.8 and a mellow 4.6 grams of acidity, round and soft. The wine matured until it was bottled in June 2020. The truth is that the wine comes through as subtle, elegant and balanced, with very integrated oak and a nice texture. It's one of the finest vintages for Alión. 95+ pts, Wine Advocate