Small but perfectly formed

Small but perfectly formed
2019 is a celebratory year for Aalto as it marks their twentieth anniversary in Ribera del Duero. The brainchild of Mariano Garcia, former head winemaker at Vega Sicilia, and Javier Zaccagnini, ex-head of the Consejo Regulador, Aalto quickly made its name in the early 2000s as a project built around quality and consistency, with an eye for the finest of details. Nowadays, Aalto sits comfortably in the pantheon of Ribera del Duero icons and is a benchmark Spanish wine, with the global demand to boot. A triumphant success story. And yet, despite two decades of continued investment and achievement, the vision and clarity of purpose at Aalto remains fundamentally unchanged. Simply, they aim “to produce a wine with a distinct personality, of high quality, that reflects our location, blended to obtain balance and complexity.”

The focus on just two wines, Aalto and Aalto Pagos Seleccionados, is the same today as it has always been. Zaccagnini’s high-energy business nous, over the course of two decades, has given Garcia the freedom to focus entirely on producing the highest quality Tempranillo possible, and scout out the best sources of fruit and individual sites in the region, year-in year-out, building up an priceless black book of contacts in the process. Today’s 2017 release thus has a slightly sentimental edge to it, as it is the last full vintage with Javier Zaccagnini at the joint-helm with Mariano Garcia. As of 2018, he leaves Aalto with all the elements in place to ensure long and continued success, so as to focus all his energy on a small family project called Sei Solo, with his son Michael. More on that to come.

Sadly, the 2017 vintage of Aalto and Aalto PS is a much smaller release than usual - around 60% down in volume – because of hard spring frosts and then dry weather throughout the growing season which conspired to reduce yields. As is often the way though, it all came together in the end and the quality is remarkable. Aalto 2017 drinks beautifully well from the outset thanks to its delicious, contoured fruit and high-toned floral notes, but it will also benefit from a few years’ bottle age. Pagos Seleccionados is always a more powerful, classical Ribera del Duero, a “selection within a selection” focusing on the prime village of La Horra and comprised of very old vines from the very best sites. It sits with the likes of Vega and Pingus but at a snip of the price.

For suave, sophisticated Ribera del Duero wines with class and drinkability, one need look no further.


2017
 
1x150cl
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£50.00 ep
ep
1x300cl
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£120.00 ep
ep
6x75cl
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£130.00 ep
ep
1x5L
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£215.00 ep
ep