Wine Of The Week – Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero 2009
Ribera del Duero, Spain
(92-95) points, Wine Advocate:
“The 2009 Alonso del Yerro, tasted from a barrel sample, is purple/black in color with outstanding density and richness. It is a promising effort from what looks to be a great Tempranillo vintage in Ribera del Duero. Derenoncourt finds it reminiscent of the 2004.”
Alonso del Yerro started in 2002 with the marriage of Javier Alonso and Maria del Yerro. Located in the Northern part of Ribera del Duero (near Roa and La Horra), they are right next to some pretty fancy neighbours – Peter Sisseck’s Pingus and Mariano Garcia’s Bodegas Aalto!
Their philosophy is a simple one – take care of the plants and they will take care of you. No synthetics, no machines (just a simple compost made at the winery). Harvest is done 100% by hand, with utmost respect taken to preserve the terroir of the region. They view vintage variation as a normal part of the winemaking process, and very carefully watch what characteristics are being offered by each parcel of each vineyard. This helps them to create a fabulous wine even in the most challenging vintages, and having a winemaking team led by top Bordeaux consultant Stephane Derenoncourt doesn’t hurt.
Self-taught, it took Stephane many years to rise up through the ranks of Bordeaux’s top winemakers. In 1982 (completely oblivious to the fact that this was one of the benchmark vintages in Bordeaux), he was hired as a grape-picker in Fronsac, and did odd jobs and played guitar in Bordeaux for the next until 1990. It was then that he moved to St. Emilion and had the chance to work in the cellar at Pavie-Macquin and he finally realized what all the work he had been doing in Bordeaux vineyards was for. From that point on, the sky was the limit and Stephane now has a winemaking resume that would rival any in world. He has brought his style to the beautiful wines of Alonso del Yerro, crafting a Ribera del Duero with elegance and charm.