Good afternoon good people and hope you all had a good New Year's holiday.
It's cold and unfriendly out there so in the tradition of the last few Januarys, it is time to bring some sunshine in to your lives in the shape of 2015 Vintage of Aalto.
The winery releases the wine in the late Autumn but, as that is my busy time of the year, I never get around to it at the time. Also, it somehow feels right to start the year with one of my favourite wineries.
The 2015 was (very much like in Bordeaux) about as friendly to the vine growers as it can be. Cold winter and cool early Spring gave the vines plenty of rest. This was followed by fine weather during flowering and just enough water during the Summer for the plants not to suffer too much, but not too much to dilute the concentration. And the fine weather was there again for final ripening so, all in all, near perfect grapes were harvested. I was there for the last few days of harvest and could see the workers on the sorting tables standing around yawning. There was nothing to pick out, nothing to throw away. The structure of the juice was such that the winemakers really had very little to do, just nurse it slowly from tank to barrels and let the divine biochemistry do its magic.
Before moving on to the wines, I feel I should mention that our last 2 years' allocations were completely sold out and we will have to give priority to buyers of the previous vintages. I am confident that we will be able to get some more stock for 2015, so there should be some spare stock. Please register your interest as soon as possible even if you did not have allocations in previous years, and I will do my best to accommodate all the orders.
And, so, on to the wines (no major critics have yet published any notes so you will just have to trust me):-
Aalto 2015 - ZR 17
Aalto 2015 was aged for 16 months in 50% new barrels of French and American Oak (slightly less than in previous vintages) allowing natural purity of the juice to come through whilst providing enough backbone for the wine to have long life. The late Summer and early Autumn small dark berries dominate the primary palate, with really fine, polished tannins in the background. The 2015 is actually very decent to drink now in this primary, elegant stage, but will fill up more body and complexity over the next 5-10 years. It reminds me of 2005 which is now superb to drink. Very refined, balanced and yummy.
Aalto PS 2015 - ZR 19;
Aalto is made from just over 200 different parcels of land with best plots in any given vintage selected for the PS (Pagos Seleccionados) - PS is normally no more than about 5% of the total production and made only in top vintages. 2015 was selected mainly from the village of La Hora with smaller proportion of fruit from Aguilera aged for 19 months in 100% new French oak with malolactic fermentation in barrels.
As with regular Aalto, there is tremendous purity of fruit in 2015 PS, only with more intensity and concentration, so it can handle 100% new French Oak. Small, black, forest berries dominate the initial palate, underlined by Mediterranean spices, cedar wood and dark chocolate. There are also some tropical citrus tones at the end. All of this is wrapped in highly polished but intense tannins and seems to last forever. I would not be surprised if I increase the rating by a notch in a couple of years once it all has had a chance to blend in a bit more. Excellent effort from Mariano and the team.
All the best
City Wine Collection
T. +44 20 8948 7823 M. 07801 685392