Spain

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Region Vintage Name Qty Unit Case Size Format Price Note Rating
Spain 1931 Toro Albala, Pedro Ximenez Don PX Convento Seleccion, 1 Case 6 75cl £1,050
  • If someone told you they kept a wine for 84 years in barrel before bottling, you'd think they are nuts, right? Well, that's what the folks at Toro Albalá in Aguilar de la Frontera - in the province of Cordoba, part of the Montilla Moriles appellation - did with their 1931 Don PX Convento Selección. This is part of what they call 'vinos olvidados,' which means 'forgotten wines.' The border is amber, with green tints that denote very old age. Such old age provides an array of unusual aromas and flavors, including iodine and salt that compensate the sweetness (403 grams) and even the alcohol (18%). It's terribly balsamic, with notes of dry herbs and spices, cigar ash, carob beans (algarrobas), incense and noble woods. The palate is very, very sweet and concentrated, unctuous, dense, with a chewy texture. This goes beyond a glass of wine, a drop of it is like having a piece of cake. I don't think this reaches the complexity and depth of the 1946, which remains the benchmark for these old sweet PX, but it's truly terrific! 9,650 bottles were filled in June 2015.

    Score: 98 Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

Tasting Notes
98
Spain 1994 Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita 3 Bottle 75cl £375
  • Rating

    97

    Release Price

    $150 - 200

    Drink Date

    2003 - 2020

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Apr 1998

    Source

    116, The Wine Advocate

    For L'Ermita, the 1994 is the current vintage in the marketplace; quantities are absurdly small. The color is a saturated inky/purple, and the soaring nose provides thrilling levels of sweet blackberry and cherry liqueur-like fruit. In spite of being full-bodied, massive, and huge, it manages to not taste heavy despite its gargantuan proportions of fruit, glycerin, tannin, and extract. This chewy, glycerin-imbued, phenomenally intense wines possesses all the component parts necessary to become a modern-day legend. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2020.   

Tasting Notes
97
Spain 1995 Pingus 4 Bottle 75cl £920
  • Rating

    92

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2030

    Reviewed by

    Neal Martin

    Issue Date

    31st Aug 2012

    Source

    202, The Wine Advocate

    The maiden Pingus is still going strong as it approaches adulthood. It has a complex bouquet, the glycerine content having ebbed over the years, revealing lush scents of creme de cassis, blackberry, black olive and a slight earthy, almost Graves-like tincture. The palate is medium-bodied with surprising succulent on the entry underpinned by crisp acidity. There is almost a sense of conservatism to this Pingus, but it is undeniably well balanced. If I were to criticize, compared to subsequent vintages it lacks the some fineness of tannins towards the finish. Still, it is one delicious drop of Ribera del Duero and could easily last another decade, possibly more. Drink now-2030.

Tasting Notes
92
Spain 2001 Numanthia 3 Bottle 75cl £40
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $45

    Drink Date

    2005 - 2019

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    26th Apr 2004

    Source

    152, The Wine Advocate

    The flagship offering, the 2001 Numanthia, is fashioned from a 70-100 year old Tinta de Toro vineyard planted at a 2300 foot elevation. After a 28 day maceration, the wine undergoes malolactic in barrel, is aged 19 months in new French oak, and is bottled without fining or filtration. The spectacular, opaque purple-colored 2001 offers an explosive nose of melted licorice, barbecue smoke, blackberries, creme de cassis, camphor, and graphite. Full-bodied with gorgeously rich, concentrated fruit, a layered texture, and tremendous purity, it can be drunk young, but should hit its prime in 1-2 years, and last for 10-15.  

Tasting Notes
95
Spain 2004 Artadi Pagos Viejos 1 Case 6 75cl £450
97
Spain 2004 Vega Sicilia Unico 2 Case 6 75cl £1,270
  • Moving on to the big guns, the 2004 Unico is truly spectacular, in line with the 1970 and 1994. It's a blend of 87% Tempranillo and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. Unico has a unique long aging, in the case of the 2004, 15 months in 20,000-liter vats, 25 month in new barrels, 17 months in used barrels and a further 26 months in the big oak vats. It has complex notes of tobacco, cedar wood and blackberries, and shows very good balance between power and elegance as well as perfect ripeness. It has a similar profile to the 1994, but there's ten years difference in experience and technical knowledge. There is nuance; there is detail, filigree, balance, harmony and complexity. There is a fine texture. In short, it is a great, world-class wine, a superb vintage for Unico. 87,500 bottles, 2,229 magnums, 150 double magnums and 5 Imperials were filled with this extraordinary wine. This is approachable now, but it's a shame to drink so soon. It will age for a very long time, as it has the balance and harmony to do so, and it will develop more complexity with time. Drink 2016-2029. But if the single harvest Unico is fantastic, the multi-vintage blend could be even better as it also plays with the benefit of extra aging time.

    Score: 97 Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (214), August 2014

    Pablo Alvarez described 2004 as a textbook vintage with perfect temperatures and rain just when it was needed. The 2004 has a haunting bouquet of dark brambly black fruit, cassis, honey, a tang of marmalade and bacon fat. It already boasts an intense, burly bouquet that will require years to soften. The palate is full-bodied with succulent, ripe, intense black cherries, white pepper, minerals and liquorice and it fans out beautifully towards the finish with tar-tinged black fruit interlaced with black pepper. This is a multi-dimensional Unico, more masculine and grander than the 2005, perhaps the sibling of the 1994?

    Score: 97 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (202), August 2012

    (roughly 85% tempranillo and 15% cabernet sauvignon; aged for a total of seven years in large oak vats, new small barrels, used small barrels and large oak vats to rest before bottling, in that order): Inky ruby: doesn't look like a ten-year old wine. A heady, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, vanilla, pipe tobacco, new leather and potpourri, with a subtle mineral flourish. Spicy, sweet and expansive, offering palate-staining cherry compote and cassis flavors with exotic violet and chewing tobacco qualities. Deepens and gains spiciness on the smooth, gently tannic finish, which lingers with superb focus and tenacity.

    Score: 96 Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, September 2014

    Dark purplish crimson. Actually this smells more obviously ripe and opulent than the 2005, perhaps because of its seductive and already complex undertow. Beautiful completeness. So beautifully balanced that it is already alluring, even if it refines and dries a bit on the finish. Really stunning - explosive! Mineral finish.

    Score: 19.5 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, June 2012

Tasting Notes
97
Spain 2007 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Rioja Gran Reserva Especial 2 Case 6 75cl £350
  • The aromas of this show an amazing freshness of flowers and herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and violet. Then it goes to raspberry, candy and currants. Black licorice too. A truly great wine on the nose. Full-bodied, racy and linear. So polished. It's like a red ruby. 86% tempranillo and 14% mazuelo in the blend. For release in September 2015. Great length and future. Give it three years or so. Or decant two hours in advance

    Score: 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, July 2015

    A worthy follow-up of the 2005, the 2007 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial will be released in late 2015. This is a cuvée of mostly Tempranillo with the balance of Mazuelo (Cariñena), a very important grape for Castillo de Ygay in percentages that vary depending on the vintage, and it's almost 15% in 2007. 2007 was not an easy vintage and in Ygay they had a terrible mildew attack and they lost 50% of the bunches. It's a cold, rainy year, but because of that circumstance the wine is concentrated. This is still a baby, long and with depth and tannins that should melt in a couple of years. Compared with the 2005 it is fresher, perhaps not as concentrated, but for me the extra freshness compensates and puts it at a very similar quality level. And the rule of thumb is to wait at least ten years after the harvest to start uncorking any Castillo de Ygay. Cheap it is not, but very good value it is, for the quality it delivers. 110,000 bottles were produced. There will be no Castillo de Ygay in 2008, but there will be 2009, 2010 and 2011. That's something exceptional to have three vintages in a row.

    Score: 95+ Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

Tasting Notes
98
Spain 2010 Vega Sicilia Unico 2 Case 3 75cl £660
  • I was surprised by the aromatics of the 2010 Único, cropped from a powerful and concentrated year that delivered this blend of 94% Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 14.5% alcohol and a highish pH of 3.87. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in a combination of French and American oak barrels and 20,000-liter oak vats and aged for almost six years. It feels quite ripe and somehow old style, dominated by ripe black fruit, with a rustic and earthy touch. It has an ample palate, concentrated and powerful, with some earthy tannins. 85,185 bottles, 3,362 magnums, 228 double magnums and 36 Imperials were produced. It was bottled in June 2016.

    Score: 97 Luis Gutierrez, RobertParker.com (246), December 2019

Tasting Notes
97
Spain 2010 Clos I Terrasses Clos Erasmus 2 Case 6 75cl £1,150
97
Spain 2012 Vega Sicilia Alion 1 Case 12 75cl £550
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $90

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2022

    Reviewed by

     Luis Gutiérrez

    Issue Date

    30th Oct 2015

    Source

    221, The Wine Advocate

    2012 has to be one of the best recent vintages of Alión. This 2012 Alión is pure Tempranillo from vineyards averaging 25 to 30 years of age, harvested at the end of September and matured for 14 months in new French oak barrels. The nose is much more elegant than the Pintia from Toro (I tasted them together), still very fresh and primary but with a special brightness of fruit, shiny cherries, raspberries, something effervescent, open and somehow exuberant. The palate is quite round, much more polished, with some notes of dark chocolate, some subtle volatility, elegant, fresh and long. It has the balance and stuffing to develop nicely in bottle. Superb balance, Ribera character, clean, modern classic. 280,000 bottles were produced.

Tasting Notes
95
Spain 2014 Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita Velles Vinyes 2 Bottle 75cl £730
Spain 2015 Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita Velles Vinyes 2 Bottle 75cl £575
Spain 2017 Pingus 1 Case 3 75cl £1,750
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    $850

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2032

    Reviewed by

     Luis Gutiérrez

    Issue Date

    30th Dec 2019

    Source

    Issue 246 End of December 2019, The Wine Advocate

    I also tasted the 2017 Pingus, which had a tough competition with the bottled 2016 and a barrel sample of the 2018 (and the fermenting 2019, but that doesn't really count). 2017 was a weird vintage for the zone, as the year was marked by one spring frost that decimated the crop and completely changed the balance of the year. In 2007, they put a windmill in one of the plots, and although the plot was not able to escape the frost, it was not as acute as it was in the Flor de Pingus vineyards, where they lost up to 40% of the crop. At the Pingus vineyards, they lost some 25% of the grapes. They started the élevage in used barriques, where they wine matured for 12 months, and then moved the wine to larger barrels so they could extend the aging. There are alternate sensations of ripeness and herbal aromas. You can see a little bit of the tannic style of a concentrated year (1995, 2004, 2014), which is very different from fluid years like 2016 or 1996, with a rustic Ribera character. They saved the vintage with their knowledge of their vineyards, whereas in the past, a vintage like this could have been a disaster. Sometimes wines like this can have an unexpected development in bottle... 5,700 bottles were filled in July 2019.

Tasting Notes
96
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