2009 Bodegas J A Calvo Casajus Nic Ribera del Duero, Spain (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Casajus NIC is the top wine, sourced from a single 1.5 hectare plot that yielded less than 2,500 kilogram per hectare (NIC, by the way, is the abbreviation of Nicolas and Catalina, Jose Alberto’s children.) It is raised in new 500-liter Allier barrels over 18 months. It has a very intense nose of raspberry, fresh strawberry, maraschino and blood orange that effortlessly embraces the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte, succulent tannins, the oak playing a complementary role (in my opinion, the use of larger barrels moderating their influence.) It is struck through with outstanding acidity and wonderful minerality toward the finish. It shimmers in the mouth: so much purity you want to cry. It may be eye-wateringly expensive, but it is one of Ribera del Duero’s finest wines. Drink 2014-2025. I was unfamiliar with the wines of Bodegas Calvo Casajus prior to my tasting them in Ribera del Duero – but what a superb set of wines! Here there was plenty of nuance, balance and expression of terroir that set them apart from their peers as they, often imbued with a Burgundy-like cashmere texture and startling purity. Plus they are, for the most part, very reasonably priced. Jose Alberto Calvo Casajus himself was a member of the local co-operative until 1993 as well as serving the vital role as the village baker in Quintana del Pidio. Is there no end to this man’s talents?