96pts James Suckling
A very savory and succulent Alion with so much complexity of flavor with berries, chocolate and dried meat. Some cedar, too. Full body. Vertical and very long. Purity of fruit and tannins to this wine. Needs two or three years to soften. Release in 2020. Better after 2022.
95pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The highly anticipated 2016 Alión spent 12 months in oak barrels, 80% of them new and built mainly with French oak but with some 5% American oak, and some 10% of the volume matured in 15,000-liter concrete vats. It hits the scale at 15% alcohol and has moderate acidity, showing ripe black fruit and a creamy texture. 2016 has to be one of the freshest and most elegant vintages of Alión, a year with depth, freshness and terrific balance. Same as they do in Pintia, they are finding ways to lower the impact of the oak in the wine; here, they used concrete, and the wine shows more primary and floral aromas and is nicely textured and with fine tannins. 258,458 bottles, 7,017 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in June 2018.
The wine is extremely inviting as a result. The fruit is pure, aromatic and complex, reflecting the varying terroir in this triangle of vineyards between Pesquera del Duero, Padilla and Valbuena. There is spice and weight, but also great length and class. This is a true example of contemporary Ribera made without compromise.