Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 29/06/2010 The more expressive 2004 Maria has a bouquet that soars from the glass. Already complex, it effortlessly combines elegance and power. Give it 6-8 years of additional bottle age and drink it from 2016 to 2034. The current owners purchased this estate in 2002 and hired Stephane Derenoncourt of Bordeaux renown as consultant. The Alonso del Yerro cuvee, made from 100% Tempranillo, typically goes through ML in barrel followed by 12 months sur lie with batonnage in new French oak. The Maria cuvee (also 100% Tempranillo) is fermented in new oak vats, goes through a longer maceration than the Alonso bottling, and is aged in new French oak for 18 months sur lie with batonnage. As a side note, Vinedos Alonso del Yerro has started a new project in neighboring Toro called Paydos. I tasted barrel samples of the first two vintages, 2008 and 2009. They were both exceptional; the 2009, in particular, due to the virtually perfect vintage conditions in Toro. From high elevation vines, the 2004 Alonso del Yerro Maria represents a strict selection of the wineryd's finest barrels. Aged sur-lie for 18 months with frequent batonnage, it is one of the finest Ribera del Dueros I have tasted over the last year. A deep purple color is followed by scents of espresso, creme de cassis, scorched earth, and pain grille. It reveals the lushness and silky texture of a great Pomerol married to a Spanish personality. Full-bodied and rich, but light on its feet, this beauty can be drunk now and over the next decade.
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