The Tinto counterpart to the Clarete is also a co-fermented blend of primarily Tempranillo with Albillo, Garnacha and Bobal which sees a longer maceration resulting in a darker color. Despite its 20 months in French oak it is bright, vibrant and aromatic. Fun and vibrant are usually not words associated with Ribera but it is certainly the case with the Picaro Tinto.
Tempranillo, Garnacha, Bobal, Albillo
One of the newest estates in Ribera del Duero, Dominio del Águila, was founded by Jorge Monzon and Isabel Rodero in 2010. Located in the village of La Aguilera, Jorge farms 30 hectares of vines organically with ongoing experiments with biodynamics. Like his neighbors, he relies primarily on the Tempranillo grape for his wines. Beyond that, all other similarities end. At Dominio del Águila there is no Cabernet Sauvignon, no Merlot and certainly no Malbec or Petit Verdot, instead Jorge relies on Bobal, Garnacha, Tempranillo Gris and Albillo to add complexity to his wines. The vineyards are all over fifty years in age, and located on sandy and rocky clay soils. Jorge has acquired these plots over the last decade while working at Bodegas Arzuaga-Navarro which he departed in 2013 to work full time at his own estate. Before 2010 he sold his grapes to several high-profile neighbors. Proving the old adage that, “it takes a lot of beer to make good wine,” Jorge also operates a microbrewery on the estate brewing beer entirely from local ingredients. Jorge comes from a family with a long tradition of growing grapes and making wines. He has studied in Bordeaux and Burgundy and has worked at both Domaine Romanee-Conti at Vega Sicilia before joining Arzuaga. His studies and travels taught him several important things: the importance of organic farming, an appreciation of old-vines, a desire for elegance and transparency and all the skills necessary to combine these ideas to make remarkable wines. Jorge and his wife Isabel, who is an architect, have renovated an ancient cellar in the village of La Aguilera dating to the 15th century. They installed concrete tanks for fermentation and placed a barrel room in the coldest part of the subterranean cellar. Natural yeast co-fermentations are the first step in the process with pigeage done by foot. After primary fermentation the wines are placed in French oak for malo and aging. With such cold temperatures in the barrel room the evolution of the finished wines is gradual allowing for the development of greater complexity.