Dominio Del Aguila, Picaro, Ribera Del Duero, Spain
As a young student of oenology, Jorge Monzón traveled to Burgundy and despite not speaking a word of French nor having any recommendations let alone experience, he convinced Domaine La Ro- manée-Conti to take him on as an intern. His eagerness and desire to learn led him to shadow maître de chai, Bernard Noblet, observing all the steps he took to create the famed wines of this historic Domaine.
Returning to Ribera del Duero, and his home- town of La Aguilera, Jorge worked a couple of years at Vega Sicilia before becoming a technical director at Arzuaga-Navarro. While working for others, Jorge began purchasing old vineyards around La Aguilera – parcels in danger of being ripped up and replaced with more pro- productive clones of Tempranillo as well as “fashionable” Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. These undesirable vineyards were ancient, unproductive massale selections of Tempranillo mixed with a diverse range of other varieties including a high proportion of white grapes – all “useless” in a region that prized extraction, production and the “ameliorating” contribution made by international varieties. Together with his wife, Isabel Rodero, Jorge founded Dominio del Águila in 2010. Farming is certified organic and Isabel, who is an architect, supervised the renovation of three ancient cellars dating to the 15th century dug deep into the bedrock under the village. Natural yeast, whole cluster co-fermentations are the first step in the process with pigeage done by foot. After primary fermentation, the wines are placed in oak barrels for aging in their cold, subterranean cellars to ensure that the evolution of their wines proceeds slowly.
60 years old organic vines. Altitude 800-900 meters. Sandy clay-limestone, heavier clay, gravel.
fruit which is strictly selected from parcels chosen for their quality, but also in response to vintage conditions. In warmer years, cooler sites are favored and in cooler vintages, warmer sites are utilized. The soils are heavier in clay, which in a dry climate like Ribera del Duero, prevents vine stress and promotes a even and simultaneous ripening of both fruit and stems – vitally important for the whole cluster, natural fermentations.
The Tinto counterpart to the Clarete is a co-fermented blend of primarily Tempranillo with Albillo, Garnacha and Bobal.
Hand-harvested, whole cluster natural yeast co-fermentation in concrete tanks, pigeage. 12-20 months in French oak barrels, no racking