The 2011 Alion is pure Tempranillo from vineyards averaging 25 to 30 years of age, harvested early (second half of September) matured for 16 months in new Nevers barrels (thatâ€™s a difference with Vega Sicilia; for Alion all wood is French). It is an exuberant, ripe Alion, with hedonistâ€™s aromas that jump out of the glass. Winemaker Javier Ausas tells me he likes the wines when they are young and showy like this one. It is indeed a showy vintage, with aromas of violets, molasses, cereals and a whiff of malt whisky. We tasted the wine a little warm, but that does not benefit the wine, which should be served at 15-16 C and allowed to warm up and open up in the glass. Itâ€™s also quite smoky, with reminiscences of very good barrels, black aromas, violets, black olives and fresh plums. The palate is tannic with lactic and warm flavors. This is a very exuberant, showy vintage for Alion, and here I tend to agree with Ausas: even though this has plenty of stuffing to age Iâ€™d drink it young in its exuberant phase. 290,000 bottles produced. Drink now-2019.
This chewy red delivers bold, earthy flavors, with dusty plum notes mingling with tar, coffee and meaty details, supported by a thick layer of tannins. Powerful and rather austere, this shows solid character. Best from 2016 through 2030. 25,000 cases made. â€“TM