Robert Parker 93
Best Value Wines of 2015
"I’ve loved this wine in the past and the 2013, a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months in French oak, is stunning, simply over-delivering in so many different ways. This wine, which offers up copious quantities, of blueberry, black raspberry and black currant fruit, licorice, graphite and meaty notes, offers fabulous aromatics, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful, pure texture and a long, heady finish with subtle oak. What’s amazing is the French oak is all two-year-old, super-expensive Darnajou barrels. For $20 this is another amazing offering from Spain and from importer Eric Solomon."
Finca VillacrecesView all from Finca Villacreces
One of the most highly-regarded pieces of land in Ribera del Duero, the estate of Villacreces sits adjacent to Vega Sicilia along the Duero and at the center of the golden mile. There is written evidence that the first vines were planted on this estate in the 13th Century. During the 14th Century, it was run by Saint Pedro de Villacreces and, later on, with its perfect conditions for prayer and retreat, it became a monastery. In the 20th Century, the property belonged to a wealthy aristocratic family from Valladolid, who used to spend their holidays and weekends here. In the early 1970s, 40 hectares of vines were planted, which has now been increased to 60. Including a 200-year-old forest, the estate comprises a total of 115 hectares.
In 2003, the Anton family – owners of a Rioja bodega and one of Spain's most famous Michelin starred restaurants in the Basque country – purchased the estate and invested in revitalizing the property. Villacreces is situated at 2,300 feet above sea level on poor soils comprised of lime, gravel, sand and quartz which naturally keep yields low (the estate averages 1.6 tons per acre). The proximity to the Duero river helps protect the vines from and reduce the effects of the frosts that are common in the Ribera del Duero.