(2018) The 12 months in new French oak certainly marks this aromatically, much more so than the 'Inspiration' cuvée, but it's a lovely quality of cedary, Sandalwood and plump, glossy black fruit, that is bold, spicy but fruit-filled and appealing. The palate has a beautiful sweetness and ripeness of plump, succulent black fruits, a sheen of creamy oak overlaid, and a nice sense of juiciness thanks to tight tannins and a balanced acidity. This is certainly more sleek than the 'Inspiration', not to obvious as the 'Collection', and is arguably my favourite of the three reds. Price is approximate: it's €16.50 shipped from Spain.
(2017) This handsomely packaged Ribera del Duero certainly looks like more than £7's worth. A 'Roble', so given only a short period in oak barrels, it is 100% Tempranillo made by Bodegas Portia, owned by Rioja's Faustino, who I visited a few years ago at the opening of their stunning winery. Dark and saturated purple, there's a sheen of cocoa and mocha coffee to dark, glossy black fruit. On the palate a welterweight of black plum, damson and blueberry is bittersweet, with the ripe and creamy fruit set against a firm, spicy framework of tannin and cherry-skin acidity. Not shy on charry oak, but very impressive at this price I must say.
(2015) Getting a wine on the shelves from the pricy Ribera del Duero is tricky, but getting such a good one must be trickier still. Liquorice, charcoal and smokiness, the fruit in the blackberry spectrum, but it is those dark notes that dominate. In the mouth this has plenty of dusty, dry tannins, but the intrinsic fruit depth is there, and the balance is good, giving this decent fruity and spicy length.
(2015) This is 100% Tempranillo, from near the town of Pesquera in Ribera del Duero, just lightly oaked to preserve its freshness from this organic estate. There's a very refined tobacco, ash and briar note at first, elegant and gently lifted, though a weight of blackberry fruit begins to assert. In the mouth that refined, cedary, gently olive-like quality marries with the sweet black fruits, a delightful freshness from crisp, black cherry-skin acidity and tight tannins, really extends the finish. Lovely, cool and sophisticated.
(2014) The year of a huge spring frost, according to Ignacio, so this was made from the fruit of a second flowering and was a very small production, harvested in October. It spent 30 months in oak. Tobacco, spice and some gaminess, tarry too, but a big balsamic strawberry fruit and touch of toffee. On the palate certainly more mature - not at all oxidised, but concentrated and firm, a touch of leathery concentration and in some ways the oak marking it a little more, still vanilla and coconut joining the intense, slightly raisined fruit and slightly pruney quality, bloody, but serious and still delicious.
(2014) Matured in all American oak for three months, and all Tempranillo. Bright, creamy, quite Beaujolais-like with its sappiness and cherry freshness. The oak is perhaps slightly jarring against the otherwise fresh character, adding just a slight bitter aspect, but juicy and gluggable.
(2014) MAde in 50/50 French and American oak, around 25% new. A slightly dusty and spicy note from the oak, some cedary aspects and ripe, plum and blackberry fruitiness. The palate has a nice medium bodied texture and richness, with a stripe of tannin and decent acidity, the oak adding a slightly charry note and a little astringency. Lots of meaty substance.
(2014) All French oak, with malolactic in barrels, a combination of new and one year old. Quite dense, meaty aromas, a little bit reduced at this stage. Obvious extra ripeness, moving into overripeness perhaps, a touch of prune and raisin, chocolate and obvious sweetness. That does add flesh and creaminess, easing the finish which has dry tannin and nice cherry acidity, but the fruit is allowed to show a little more.
(2014) A 14.5% abv Tempranillo, there's loads of creamy, spicy, vanilla-rich American oak on this, minty, bright and infusing with the ripe blackcurranty fruit. The palate has lovely dry savouriness, the delicious ripeness of the fruit floods the tongue, the slick, ripe tannins and cherry-skin grip of roughening acidity are lovely, all buttressed by that spice and creamy oak. Delicious.
(2014) Loads of currant, blueberry intensity, with again the sweet, creamy and spicy American oak very much in the mix, but more intensity to the fruit than in the Gavilan Rioja. Gorgeous fruit sweetness and freshness on the palate: there's a blue/black intensity to this, a real juiciness and vitality, the edge of acidity and the pert creaminess of the tannins are lovely, long and tapering to a sweet, gentle finish.