Vega Sicilia Pintia 2012
(aged for a year in 70 percent French and 30 percent American oak barrels, all of them new) Bright violet. Suave oak-spiced black and blue fruit, pipe tobacco and floral pastille aromas are complicated by mocha and vanilla flourishes. Plush and broad on the palate, offering sweet cassis and blackberry flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Rich yet surprisingly energetic in style, finishing sweet, sappy and impressively long; youthful tannins add framework and grip.
It looks like 2012 closes a trio of very good vintages in Toro. The 2012 Pintia is produced with the local strain of Tempranillo called Tinta de Toro from their 100 hectares of head-pruned, mostly ungrafted (75%), old vineyards (40 to 60 years of age). The destemmed grapes fermented in oak vats, malolactic was in barrique, and the aging was in new 75% French and 25% American oak barrels. The nose is very fruit-driven and fresh; they usually start harvesting around September 15th to keep the freshness. It has some balsamic aromas, red and dark berries, as well as some orange peel characteristics, hints of chocolate, vanilla, smoke and roasted notes; the wine is still very young and in need of some bottle age, but will not be sold until the end of 2016. The palate is full-bodied, structured, largely built, powerful, concentrated, and slightly rustic with abundant tannins and good overall freshness. When tasted, new to the Alión and Vega Sicilia, the rusticity of the wine is obvious and the oak-related, spice and smoke aromas grow as the wine sits in the glass. It should develop and age nicely in bottle, but it feels too young now. 180,000 bottles produced.
An opaque purple color and charred, smoky aromas render this ripe-vintage Toro dark from the outset. Sandpaper tannins frame its dominant char and burnt toast flavors, while a base of black fruit holds it together. It's all about oak and slamming tannins now, so cellar and drink from 2020-2030.
Tobacco, leather and tea flavors frame a core of cherry and dried fig notes in this red, with firm tannins and orange peel acidity showing an austere character, though this has balance and depth. Drink now through 2028. 13,000 cases made.