In a nutshell: Magnum of a complex and intense Spanish red which is a beautiful example of one of Ribera del Duero's foremost wines.
The lowdown: A Magnum of one of the classics of Ribera del Duero, Alion is the sister estate of the world famous Vega Sicilia. Here the wines are made in a more modern style than Vega Sicilia, typically displaying rich, generous fruit and lashings of spice thanks to 12 months spent in 80% new, mainly, French oak barrels. It has a particular richness about it that follows on from the spicy and slightly smoky aromas. The palate is full of ripe fruit and spiciness which is held together with mellow tannins, a firm minerality and well judged acidity.
When to drink: It'll mature nicely over the next few years to make a very rewarding wine.
Part of the world famous Vega Sicilia Bodegas Alion was formed in 1986 by the Álvarez family and is run as a separate entity to its parent company. In their early years the wine was made at Vega Sicilia, but from 1993 the new purpose built facility near Peñfiel in the Duero valley has been their home.
Whereas Vega Sicilia's success is founded on a combination of traditional and modern winemaking, Alion is unashamedly state of the art in outlook and their forward looking and uncompromising approach shows an alternate expression of the Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) grape.
Head of winemaking at Alion, and Vega Sicilia's other Spanish wineries, is Gonzalo Iturriaga who joined the business in 2015 after extensive experience in the Spanish wine trade.