We’ve excerpted what Luis Gutiérrez has written about Jorge Monzón of Dominio del Águila in Wine Advocate #229 not only because his wines are some relatively new additions to our portfolio, but also because we feel Jorge is charting a new direction for Ribera del Duero:
“A name I mentioned already is Dominio del Águila, as they provided some of the surprises from the 2013 vintage. They will soon release a new single-vineyard red from the classical Ribera del Duero field blend of old vines called Canta La Perdiz. It carries the name of the quarter from the village of La Aguilera where the grapes are sourced, which means something like ‘the partridge sings’. It’s a very old vineyard containing some younger and older plants, some planted in the early 1900s, while the oldest vines must be 150 years old and therefore ungrafted. It is a south-facing location that seems to work best in a cooler year like this 2013.
Their Peñas Aladas is an east-facing vineyard, which might behave better in warmer years like 2012. But what’s important and different here is the soil, with a type of limestone in layers (slate-like) that is easily penetrable by the roots, and the wines are not as austere as those from hard limestone rock (like in Peñas Aladas). Canta La Perdiz is extremely elegant, perfumed and transparent, crystalline, precise and focused, refined and harmonious. As with all of these old vineyards, it has a mixture of grapes, always dominated by Tempranillo (close to 80% in this vineyard), but with many other varieties, maybe 10-15% of Cariñena, and then a little Bruñal, Bobal, Albillo…
Their 2013 Reserva bottling would be a strong candidate for the wine of the vintage in the appellation, if it weren’t for the new Canta La Perdiz. The 2013 Canta la Perdiz has to be the wine of the vintage; in this challenging and heterogeneous year, Dominio del Águila has produced their finest wines so far. Bravo! As a side note, I was lucky enough to drink the 2010 Peñas Aladas Gran Reserva at El Celler de Can Roca restaurant three days before submitting the notes for this article, and I was blown away by the wine, and I was not the only one! I might have been too stingy with my 96-point score.”