Living the Aalto Life

Deep into Autumn, blood red scenes reminiscent of spilt Tempranillo surround us as we drive turn by turn, up the gravel entrance of Bodegas Aalto.


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Aalto, a prestigious red wine that has well and truly established itself as one of the great wines of both Ribera del Duero and Spain comes from the D.O Ribera del Duero with grapes originating from both from old, (40-80 years of age) and young vines. The young grapes come from 2 fields that are owned by the winery in Valladolid and the older from 7 different towns in the province of Burgos.

We’re given a tour of the installations, modern and subtly classic. As we reach the terrace the view is indomitable.

Aalto ages very well and can be consumed now, or if you’re the patient kind, in the next 15-20 years.

The harvest is completed by hand in October. When we arrived, we managed to get the remnants of a final press. The smell of the grape skins overpowering but emotionally intoxicating as they were shovelled out of the stainless-steel tanks. Once picked these grapes are transported to the winery in small 15kg boxes to avoid breakage and loosing freshness. They are subsequently hand selected for the best quality on the sorting table. After the fermentation Aalto and Aalto PS are aged for 17 months in 50% French and American oak barrels.

The Tempranillo grape solely used for Aalto wines are synonymous to the area and a widely recognised varietal, mainly due to the international fame of Rioja. Aalto is a deep purple red colour. On the nose we perceive good fruit intensity, a great deal of freshness and hints of well-integrated wood. On the palate it is complex, structured and elegant, with typical tints of liquorice, coffee, tobacco, black fruits and spices, always within the personality of the AALTO style.

Aalto ages very well gaining complexity in the bottle and can be consumed now, or if you’re the patient kind, in the next 15-20 years. Decanting the wine before consumption is highly recommended to enjoy it at its fullest potential.

This wine can be paired with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes. We especially recommend grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or grilled beef ribeye.

It is hardly surprising to be known as one of the great wines of Spain given that it is a collaboration that started in 1999 between both Javier Zaccagnini and Mariano Garcia, the former, director of Ribera’s Consejo Regulador, the latter, winemaker at Vega Sicilia for 30 years. For these reasons, bringing it to Gibraltar was a must. You can find and enjoy this wine at ‘My Wines Gibraltar Ltd’, which is located at unit 11 and 12 of Chatham Counterguard.

Ask Chef Antonio to prepare one of our Ribeye’s for you to match and enjoy the pairing with friends or family. 


Article by Michelle Sanders

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