Country: Spain Region: Castilla y Léon Vintage: 2016
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: Finca Villacreces
"Finca Villacreces was described by Robert Parker as 'the hidden jewel in Ribera del Duero'. The estate is based at the heart of the Ribera del Duero DO, forming part of the 'golden mile' along with its immediate neighbour Vega Sicilia to the west, Pingus and other such high profile estates. Located in Quintanilla de Onesimo, the stunning estate was purchased by the Anton family of Izadi in 2003 and the resulting wines, made by winemaker Ángel Ortega together with Luis Laso, are deep, dark and focused in style.
The vineyards follow what is called 'integrated viticulture', with canopy management and natural treatments used instead of artificial chemicals. The myriad combinations of sand, gravel, shingle and quartz soils encourage low vigour in the vines (yields are around three tonnes per hectare) and different flavour profiles in the grapes. The estate sits at 735 metres above sea level and comprises 64 hectares. Eighty five percent are planted with Tempranillo (mostly on sand, which gives an attractive fleshiness to the wines), with 5% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (mostly on the quartz and shingle, giving more mineral complexity).
'Pruno' was developed by the team at Villacreces a few years ago with the intention of making a Ribera del Duero that could be enjoyed earlier than their icon wine from this estate, the Villacreces, which is a step up in concentration, depth and complexity. Full of red and black fruit, spice, vanilla and liquorice, it has a smooth, rounded texture and fresh acidity ensuring excellent balance. 'Nebro', the single vineyard wine, is named after the 1.2 hectare site of the estate's oldest (80+ years) Tempranillo vines, which lie just three metres from Vega Sicilia. It is produced only in exceptional vintages and in very limited quantities, just five barrels. The 2016 is the current release."
Winemaker: Lluis Laso
The vineyards here are a mixture of soils: sandy, gravel, shingle and quartz. Each soil type contributes to different flavours in the fruit as well as to very low yields of around just three tonnes per hectare. The vineyards are planted with about 86% Tempranillo (mostly on the sandy vineyards, which give an attractive fleshiness to the wines), 4% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (mostly on the quartz and shingle, giving more mineral complexity). Organic practices are used as much as possible and the close proximity of the river helps protect against frost. The vineyards lie at 710 metres above sea level and are planted with a density of 2200 vines per hectare.
Fruit was handpicked into 15kg crates in the second and third weeks of October. The three varieties were fermented separately in small stainless steel tanks with 25% undergoing malolactic fermentation in new French oak. The wines were then aged separately in French oak (Taransaud and Darnajou) for a period of 14 months after which the final blend was assembled and bottled.
Inky purple with an expressive bouquet of espresso, toasted bread, graphite, wild blueberries, and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a full-bodied, full-flavoured, plush wine with layers of spicy black fruit. Well balanced, with lingering hints of smoke.
Food Suggestion: Enjoy with grilled meat from the barbeque, especially beef or venison.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV: 14.5% Acidity [g/l]: 5.32