Mariano Garcia spent 30 years at Vega Sicilia before setting up Aalto with Javier Zaccagnini.
"The 2014 Aalto is produced with Tempranillo from different zones of Ribera del Duero aged in oak barrels, some 70% of them new, for 16 months, a little bit less than in previous years when the wine was aged for some 18 months. They now use some grapes from new vineyards they started planting in the year 2000. The nose has plenty of black fruit, with something earthy, including hints of graphite and lead pencil. It has a classical, somehow Bordelaise, profile with sweet spices and cedar wood; it's ripe without excess. The palate is full-bodied and powerful, with good balance, in an XL style, as the wine hits the scales at 15% alcohol. The tannins are very polished, with some grainy texture and good freshness. This is ready now and should also be able to age nicely in bottle, set to be a commercial success, with the typical Aalto profile." Neal Martin