|Subregion||Spain > Castilla y León > Ribera del Duero|
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The 2011 Alion is pure Tempranillo from vineyards averaging 25 to 30 years of age, harvested early (second half of September) matured for 16 months in new Nevers barrels (that's a difference with Vega Sicilia; for Alion all wood is French). It is an exuberant, ripe Alion, with hedonist's aromas that jump out of the glass. Winemaker Javier Ausas tells me he likes the wines when they are young and showy like this one. It is indeed a showy vintage, with aromas of violets, molasses, cereals and a whiff of malt whisky. We tasted the wine a little warm, but that does not benefit the wine, which should be served at 15-16 C and allowed to warm up and open up in the glass. It's also quite smoky, with reminiscences of very good barrels, black aromas, violets, black olives and fresh plums. The palate is tannic with lactic and warm flavors. This is a very exuberant, showy vintage for Alion, and here I tend to agree with Ausas: even though this has plenty of stuffing to age I'd drink it young in its exuberant phase. 290,000 bottles produced. Drink now-2019.
This is a quiet Alion without the normal exuberance of fruit but with a considered air and fine detail on both the nose and palate. More forward and appealing than some of the richer, more bombastic vintages, this is a satisfying, heart-warming Alion with a mass of spice, herb and savoury complexity which keeps the senses on their toes. Plum and blackberry notes crowd the palate, but some red fruit creeps in on account of its lighter demeanour. This is a comforting, lush Alion without the fireworks and power often found in this label. This might confuse regular followers but they need not be disappointed because, in a strange way, it is showing some classic tertiary (aged) notes already and this is a real bonus. All Vega wines seem to last forever, but in the greater scheme of things this is a forward Alion so shuffle it up to the front of the queue and don't feel guilty about uncorking a bottle whenever you wish because it will perform (now - 2020)