Ines Vizcarra

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Juan Carlos Vizcarra is a man of intensity, passion, and incredible ambition. Though his family has grown grapes in Northern Ribera del Duero for several generations, he is the first to take it upon himself to make estate-bottled wine from this fruit. The story goes that when he was a boy, he noticed that the historic estates of Vega Sicilia and Pesquera would come to *his* family in bad vintages to buy fruit. He realized that his family must have something truly special, and took it upon himself to make wine to express this unique terroir that he had inherited. Juan Carlos has 2 daughters, the youngest of whom is Ines. As one might imagine, Ines, along with the bottling named for her older sister Celia, are the flagship wines of the Vizcarra estate. Production every year amounts to a total of at most 2000 bottles, and comes from a single, steeply sloped vineyard featuring some of the oldest and most pristine vines on the estate. Ines also features a dollop of old-vine Merlot in the blend, which gives it a bright, silky character and bolsters its elegance. Like all the wines at the tiny winery at Bodegas Vizcarra, Celia is made using gravity-fed winemaking to preserve the freshness and elegance that are intrinsic to the limestone-inflected plantings found in northern Burgos. Meticulous in everything he does, Juan Carlos applies his detail-oriented approach to every facet of the winemaking process. This is a wine meant for the cellar, and, stored properly, will continue to improve for at least 20 years in bottle.

Ines is a limited-production wine of 2000 bottles, made only in the very best vintages. Named for Juan Carlos’ youngest daughter, Ines features a spicy dollop of old-vine Merlot. This wine combines power and elegance in the distinctive manner of the best Ribera del Duero wines, and will improve for decades in the bottle. Truly a benchmark bottling for Ribera, Ines speaks to Juan Carlos’ position as one of the best winemakers in the appellation.

2015 93 WA; 2014 95WA, 95 'Editors' Choice' WE, 92+VFTC, 91WS

90% Tinto Fino; 10% Merlot. Vines planted from 1950 - 1995. Tended in clay, limestone and gravel soil from 820 - 840 m (2,690 - 2,755ft) elevation

If this bold red was a boxer, this wine packs the punch.

After picking the best bunches from the vineyard's best vines, the best berries are selected to make one of Juan Carlos Vizcarra's smallest production wines. The tiny berries go into open-top barrels made of French oak for maceration and alcoholic fermentation. The skins mix with the unfermented juice for 4-5 days using dry ice. Malolactic fermentation takes place in large, 400-liter oak barrels, 90% French and 10% American. Ines is usually aged for 18 months with natural decanting and stabilization. During this period, the wine is racked only once and then bottled without any filtration.

380 cases (6 pack)

The vineyards are located in the town of Mambrilla, at 849 meters (2,785 ft.) elevation. They lie within the northern central area of the Ribera del Duero DO (Zone 2), in the province of Burgos in Castilla y Leon. The vineyard's topsoil is composed of clay and limestone and the subsoil is gravel. Relatively fertile, the soil has plenty of material with good water retention. To offset an undesirably high rate of vegetative growth, Juan Carlos reduces yields by thinning grape clusters from 20 to 8 per vine and by allowing other wild herbs to flourish around the vines. This foliage acts to absorb the potentially excessive water and nutrients from the soil. In reducing the vine's yield and vigor, Juan Carlos maximizes the intensity and concentration of the grapes. The area's climate has an average temperature from April-October of 60.5F and the average annual rainfall is 18.9 inches. From its higher altitude, Ribera del Duero's northern central area within Burgos has a cooler climate than either Toro or Rueda, to the west and southwest, respectively. Here, the wines are usually darker, more concentrated and have more forward aromas than wines made in the western part of Ribera del Duero. An extreme Continental climate, with cool nights and hot days with moderately low rainfall, provides a longer ripening period, and results in wines with greater complexity and more expressive, intense aromas. The temperatures at Vizcarra's vineyards are warmer than the neighboring bodega Torremoron and cooler than Hornillos Ballesteros-MiBal. Harvest usually begins the first week of October and ends by mid-month. These conditions create a longer ripening period, which produces greater complexity and expressive, intense aromas in the wines.

Glass-staining ruby. Highly expressive, mineral-accented cherry and blackberry aromas are complicated by suave floral, vanilla and Asian spice nuances. Sappy, sweet and broad on entry, then more taut in the middle, offering densely packed black and blue fruit flavors that slowly become spicier and more energetic as the wine opens up. Shows a sweet fruitcake quality on the extremely persistent, oak-spiced finish, which is framed by fine-grained, harmonious tannins.-- Josh Raynolds.