Affordable Coche-Dury: Dominio del Águila, Albillo Viñas Viejas 2017
“…with prices spiraling you may not be able to afford Coche-Dury Meursault, but you might be able to find a cheaper wine that reminds you of it elsewhere (try Ribera del Duero’s beautiful Dominio del Águila Blanco).”
- An expert from wine publication Noble Rot, and authors of the book, Wine from another Galaxy, in reference to soaring wine prices.
Jorge Monzón should need no introduction. He boasts an impressive résumé having worked with prestigious wineries such as the Domaine De La Romanée-Conti for more than two years, Grupo Vega Sicilia for a year, and technical director of Bodegas Arzuaga-Navarro for nine harvests. However, since 2013 he has been producing wine from 66 hectares of old vines at his own winery, Dominio del Aguila, in Ribera del Duero. His wines have managed to fly under the radar, and quite frankly, his white wine should have a home in every curious wine drinker’s & Burgundy lover’s cellar.
At Dominio del Águila respect for nature is the name of the game, along with extreme attention to detail in the cellar. Regarding his white wine, Albillo Viñas Viejas, Jorge only selects Albillo Mayor. Albillo Mayor has small clusters with a deep golden color when fully ripe. It is not related to Albillo Real or Criollo. The grapes are hand harvested, whole cluster pressed by foot into neutral French oak barrels, a long, slow natural yeast fermentation taking up to 10 months with 35 months on the fine lees in French oak barrels, with no bâtonnage or racking. The resulting wine is glycerol and complex but mimicking a Burgundian profile. It is powerful and ripe. Flinty with a hint of spices. Produced in a vintage that proved difficult for many winemakers in Ribera del Duero (2017), Albillo Viñas Viejas 2017 is exquisite. 3,847 bottles and 10 magnums were filled in September 2020.
There you have it. Affordable Coche-Dury.
Winemaker: Jorge Monzón
Where: Ribera del Duero
Size of Domaine: 66 ha
Terroir: 880 meters in altitude in the village of La Aguilera. The soils are rich in red clay, limestone and sand. Mediterranean climate influenced by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, but the region also experiences a high degree of continentality, marked by winters that are long and cold, and summers that are hot and dry. Rainfall is low to moderate and tends to occur in winter and spring.