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I’ve decided that I need to start opening bottles that I’ve been aging for longer-term, and so with some friends in town earlier this weekend, I decided to finally crack open my bottle of 2011 Águileón to review…
The Wine: All of the fruit for the 2011 Águileón came from Cimmaron Vineyard, down on the Willcox bench. The blend for this vintage consisted of 86% Tempranillo, 6% Graciano, 6% Mourvédre. Todd Bostock, the winemaker, tells me that the wine was in all 228L & 225L barrels, mostly previously used French barrels. However, there was a tiny bit of American White oak (specifically Canton cooperage 4 year medium plus and heavy toast barrels). This vintage spent 2 years in barrel before bottling, and was racked only to blend and bottle. The 2011 Águileón was not fined or filtered.
As for the name, Todd Bostock tells me that the first year that the made the wine was 2008, which was the same year as their youngest son, Griffin was born. The name is a portmanteau of the Spanish words for eagle (Aguila) and lion (leon), which comes to a griffin. It’s quite a dark and brooding color in the glass, one of the darkest Tempranillo-based wines I’ve encountered in the state.
The Nose: deep and rich. Has aged well. Cherry, plum, cedar, frankincense, earthy and smoky. Dark fruit; figs and cassis. Huge. This wine has a commanding presence. Monsoon petrichor. I’m also reminded of a Tempranillo descriptor that someone I once dated used to describe another vintage made from this grape: “It kind of smells like you after we’ve been making out.”
The Palate: earthy and oak. Cassis, cthonic. Plum, cherry, frankincense, myrrh, spice. Anise, pepper, perrique, chaparral, slightly sour. Bold and commanding. The finish of this wine lasts 2 minutes, being super earthy, with notes of cassis, cedar, and petrichor.
The Pairing: This wine demands meat. Pair this with a Porterhouse Steak, or smoked pork chops. You’ll want an equally heavy vegetarian pairing, too–either throw that slab of portobello mushroom onto the grill with some steak seasoning, or make a super heavy vegan version of a chile rellenos.
Impressions: This is a huge, Rioja-style Tempranillo blend. If you like Rioja, you will like the 2011 Águileón. I found the 2012 vintage that’s currently in the tasting room to be a little lighter on the palate. This wine has aged very well, and you could certainly age this wine for another five or so years with no problem whatsoever.
This wine is a little more masculine than most other expressions of Tempranillo I’ve encountered in the state. It’s big, brash, and loud, but eloquent and sophisticated at the same time, a little bit like Bruce Lee.