Opaque ruby out to thin purple edges. Burnt warm-weather burnt vanilla jumps out, gamy and ripe, toying with freshly hosed-out horse stalls and red soil edged with high-altitude clarity. A pruney underpinning and significant alcohol accentuates the ample fruit, and I am guessing this thing is headed hard toward 15-0.
When I first opened my SommSelect package, I got excited for a split second, as I read “Douro” and thought I had some Portuguese still-wine on my hands–something that is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find in the US. I realized almost as quickly it was one of Alfredo Meastro’s masterpieces from inside the Ribera del Duero next door–and I had heard of his organic, biodynamic, fresh and vibrant wines not bogged down by some of the heavy-handedness drifting around the region these days.
In the mouth, any ideas of pruney-ness are shattered. From the tail-end of the nose, I was anticipating perhaps a Zinfandel-ish situation of slightly flabby fruit, but this NOT to be. Exactly the opposite! Brilliant attack, spicy and sharp, carving fat slabs of icy fruit-bowl-fresh cherry and nectarine off effortlessly, allowing them to fall with great aplomb into a shimmering crystal ocean of seamless tannin, balanced and manageable, but not letting the fruit out of its sight for a second. Chocolate and urine-cured leather mold the core into a heart-throb dollop. Clawingly dry in the finish–fruit never missing a beat–and the final salute is a tiny, funky nod to Crianza.
This is a BEAUTIFUL wine, through-and through. I try hard not to pre-judge, but Spanish wines always get a little asterisk. Sorry, I’ve just drank too many iffy ones in my life. But this lil thang. OMG. It is so ALIVE, so exceptionally balanced. Wow. I am literally blown away.
2015 ALFREDO MAESTRO ‘Castrillo de Duero’ Tempranillo Castilla Y Leon Spain 14.5