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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 Romanée-Conti to take him on as an intern. His eagerness and desire to learn led him to shadowing 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 hometown of La Aguilera, Jorge worked a couple of years at Vega Sicilia before becoming 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 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 ensure that the evolution of their wines proceeds slowly.
Ribera del Duero Pícaro Tinto Viñas Viejas The Tinto counterpart to the Pícaro Clarete is a co-fermented blend of Tempranillo with Albillo, Garnacha, and Bobal - fruit strictly selected from parcels chosen for their quality and response to vintage conditions. In warmer years, cooler sites are favored, and in cooler vintages, warmer sites are utilized. All these sites have soils of gravel and heavier clay, which in a dry climate like Ribera del Duero prevents vine stress and promotes an even and simultaneous ripening of both fruit and stems – vitally important for whole-cluster, natural fermentations.
Producer: Dominio del Águila
Region: Castilla y León
Varietal: Tempranillo, Albillo, Garnacha, Bobal
Appellation: Ribera del Duero