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2017 was a low-yielding year, so I also tasted the 2018 Reserva, their flagship red wine that wants to be a representation of the village of La Aguilera—fine, serious and elegant. It's 95% Tempranillo with the remaining grapes found interplanted in their oldest vineyards at an average of 880 meters in altitude on limestone, clay and sandy soils. All the clusters ferment together with indigenous yeasts in concrete, where they are foot trodden, and malolactic was carried out very slowly (11 months) in oak barrels where the wine matured for a total of 27 months. It has a somewhat shy nose but is very elegant. The wine was recently bottled, and that can make it a little closed and subtle, and it clearly improves with air as it sits in the glass. It's still young, and the palate reveals lots of energy; the flavors are very pure and the wine precise and delineated. The tannins are very fine and provide for a chalky texture and an almost salty twist in the finish. This is very in line with the 2016. 15,250 bottle and 101 magnums produced. It was bottled in February 2021.
Jorge Monzon Pascual without knowing a word of French went knocking on the doors of Domaine La Romanée-Conti managing to convince them to take him on as an intern. This time was incredibly valuable for Jorge as he learned how a truly world-class winery operates both in a practical sense and philosophical one. A little later on, Jorge started working at Spain's legendary Vega Sicilia, where he was predominantly working to create a white version of the 'Unico'.
In 2010 Jorge along with his wife Isabel launched Dominio Del Aguila after purchasing some incredibly old parcels of Tempranillo which were in danger of being ripped up and replaced by more fashional grape types like Cabernet Sauvignon. Jorge's teachings at Domaine La Romanée-Conti (DRC) had taught him to do things the old way, and he felt that these older vineyards would yield better grapes and create finer wines. The average vine age ranges from 60-150+ years, which is absolutely incredible as some vineyard sites are pre-phylloxera! Jorge stuck to his teachings from DRC and does everything the traditional way, foot treading grapes, fermenting in whole clusters, very late malolactic fermentation whilst still in the barrel, and maturing the wines slowly in very cold under ground cellars.
In just a few years, Jorge and Isabel have cemented themselves as one of the leading fine wine producers in Ribera del Duero, but also as one of the top wineries in Spain. Their rose is one of the most unique we've seen being a 'clarete' with some tannin and structure behind it. Their white wine is rarer than a Le Montrachet to find and their reds are simply mind-blowing at any level. We can't recommend their wines highly enough!