Aldonia 100, Rioja 2016

SR09816

Top Riojan red wine from this modern bodega, you’d be forgiven for thinking you have a generous glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape not Spain’s finest! It’s all made from 100 year-old Garnacha (aka Grenache in the Rhône Valley) vines which bring concentration, sublime silkiness and lasting power to the wine. With just enough oak, the fruit is dense and luxurious, designed to be savoured with your favourite red meat, venison perhaps, or a hunk of mature cheese on possibly the coldest day of winter. Unless you can find an excuse to uncork it earlier...

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Type Red
ABV 15.0%
Bottle Size 75 cl
Country Spain
Region Spain
Area Rioja
Style Powerful
Vintage 2016
Major Grape Grenache
Grapes 100% Grenache
Drinking Guide Drink Now
Food Match Duck, Roast
Notes Environmentally-Friendly
Press Reviews

‘I bought a case of this Aldonia 100 2015 a year ago more or less on a whim, mainly because I like old-vine Grenache. My plan was to see how it ages over a period of several years, but it’s so enormously, joyously drinkable that these honourable intentions have been totally blown out of the water. Six months after opening the first bottle, there’s knack all of it left.

There are two things I particularly like about this wine. Firstly, it’s 100% Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja is so obsessively all about Tempranillo that I always feel that the supporting cast of varieties don’t get much of a look in, even when they’re from venerable old vineyard such as this.

Secondly it’s from Rioja Baja. This latter sub-division of the DO has recently been renamed Rioja Oriental (Eastern Rioja) because ‘Lower Rioja’ was felt to be a bit, well, derogatory. And for sure, the flat lands south-east of Logrono don’t get much in the way of publicity, overshadowed by the more aristocratic Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.

So, an overlooked grape variety, from an overlooked region. But my love of this wine is not just because it’s an underdog that’s punching… this ancient vineyard has weathered the warm 2015 vintage beautifully. The wine is rich and exuberant, but also silkily contained with a juicy fresh-strawberry lift: a big man in a well-fitting suit with a well-judged floral buttonhole.

And a sub-£20 wine from 100-year-old vines? Excuse me, I just need to make a phone call…’
Chris Losh, Imbibe Magazine, 1st May 2019

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Product Details

Spanish Vintages

A cooler and wetter year than other recent vintages, this has endowed the wines of 2018 with greater freshness and lower alcohols. Across the country the wines are showing good aromatics, plenty of weight, and a juicy fresh character. Growers had a complex year in 2017 having to contend with frost hail and drought. Yields are down as a result but the picture overall is of good quality particularly in Galicia and the South, Penedès also seems to have performed well. The 2016 vintage looks pretty good on the whole with Ribera del Duero, Rioja and Rueda having excellent results. 2015 was heralded as the best vintage across Spain in recent years, and particularly so in the north. 2014 saw some good wines made with a little rain in the second half of harvest and low yields. This came after the potentially great 2013 vintage which has given fresh, vibrant, robust wines. The 2012 harvest is also very good, a dry year but yields are low. The run of good to excellent quality go back to 2002, with 2011 being an early harvest in good conditions; 2010 a cooler year, which has delivered a more elegant style of wine; 2009 a warm year with a potentially big harvest of excellent grapes through the more elegant 2008s; the growing season of 2007 was more difficult but good, balanced wines emerged; the drought season of 2006 was moderated by cool nights giving elegant wines; the superb duo of 2005 and 2004, which will be compared for years to come and the powerful, super-ripe vintage of 2003. Poor bud-break and rain at harvest in 2002 spoiled the run of fine vintages but the previous 2001 more than made up for it - a classic vintage, drinking well now. Frost at flowering and rain at harvest hampered the 1999 vintage, while 1998 was a fine year until rain at harvest forced some to pick early, although those who waited were rewarded with the warmth that followed.

 

‘I bought a case of this Aldonia 100 2015 a year ago more or less on a whim, mainly because I like old-vine Grenache. My plan was to see how it ages over a period of several years, but it’s so enormously, joyously drinkable that these honourable intentions have been totally blown out of the water. Six months after opening the first bottle, there’s knack all of it left.

There are two things I particularly like about this wine. Firstly, it’s 100% Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja is so obsessively all about Tempranillo that I always feel that the supporting cast of varieties don’t get much of a look in, even when they’re from venerable old vineyard such as this.

Secondly it’s from Rioja Baja. This latter sub-division of the DO has recently been renamed Rioja Oriental (Eastern Rioja) because ‘Lower Rioja’ was felt to be a bit, well, derogatory. And for sure, the flat lands south-east of Logrono don’t get much in the way of publicity, overshadowed by the more aristocratic Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.

So, an overlooked grape variety, from an overlooked region. But my love of this wine is not just because it’s an underdog that’s punching… this ancient vineyard has weathered the warm 2015 vintage beautifully. The wine is rich and exuberant, but also silkily contained with a juicy fresh-strawberry lift: a big man in a well-fitting suit with a well-judged floral buttonhole.

And a sub-£20 wine from 100-year-old vines? Excuse me, I just need to make a phone call…’
Chris Losh, Imbibe Magazine, 1st May 2019

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