Alabaster 2011 is quite simply out of this world - deeper, darker and more elemental than its siblings, it is the product of three special parcels of un-grafted pre-phylloxera (up to 130 years old) Tinto de Toro vines. In 2011 they yielded a frankly miniscule 9hl/ha. Complex and highly sophisticated dark fruit notes of black fig, bramble, sloes and dark cherry mix with soy, sesame, sweet earth, graphite and stones; while this is still but an infant you can patently tell there is an awful lot more to come. Profoundly intense yet almost without weight, highly detailed, palate staining and complex it offers up the absolute essence of old vine Tinto de Toro. An icon in the making.
Having sold their Termanthia estate in 2007, the Eguren family could not resist the call of Toro for long and identified a prime estate with parcels of old vines, some pre-phylloxera,scattered around Toro, Zamora, Valdefinjas and Villabuena del Puente. The young parcels are 15-30 years old and go into the Almirez, the 45 year plus vines are reserved for Alabaster and Victorino. The vineyards are treated with typical Eguren care and attention, everything is hand picked into small boxes to avoid crushing, yields are tiny (between 10-20 hl/ha) and ageing takes place in french oak barrels. The result is a stunning set of wines of great intensity, charm and purity. They are every bit as concentrated as their predecessors with a finer, more subtle quality to them.
Up and coming region in Spain with the potential produce some of Spain's most glorious red wines. To the west of Ribera del Duero, a similar style of wine is created but perhaps with less tannin but