2005 Alion (Vega Sicilia) Ribera del Duero

SKU #1047173

94+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Alion has a captivating perfume of smoke, pencil lead, violets, truffle, cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied, firm, sweetly-fruited, layered, and splendidly balanced. It has several years of aging potential and will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2025." (06/09) Produced in a softer, more modern style, here is your opportunity to get a taste of Vega Sicilia's winemaking for a modest sum. Purchased by Vega Sicilia in 1992, Alion shares the same vineyard management and winemaking team. Though you might have had Ribera del Duero produced by growers who sell fruit to Vega Sicila, or from a bodega 'across the road' from Vega Sicilia, simply put...it ain't Vega Sicilia. Neither is this, but it's the next best thing, benefitting from all the financial and intellectual resources of Spain's first growth, as well as their uncanny sense to make the most elegant and balanced wines of the region (estimated arrival in June 2009).

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Price: $69.99
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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.

Ribera del Duero