The 2011 Aalto PS is their top cuvee from selected plots (Pagos Seleccionados), old Tempranillo vineyards around La Horra and La Aguilera in the province of Burgos. The nose has the characteristic dill-like aroma imparted by the American oak (malolactic is carried out in new American barrels and the aging is in French oak only) and plenty of notes of incense, cigar ash, nutmeg and clove over a core of ripe black fruit. The palate is full-bodied, and shows both elegance and power, with grainy, fine tannins and a silky, slightly dusty texture and moderate acidity. The wine aged for 20 months in barrel compared with some 30 months in the past. Regardless, the wine is still quite marked by the oak, quality oak, but plenty of oak nonetheless. This is one for the long haul that would benefit from at least a couple of years in the bottle. Drink 2016-2021.
2011 saw a warm end of the summer and an early harvest (it started on September) in Ribera del Duero. In Aalto they finished harvesting very healthy grapes on October 11. 2012 was extremely dry, but not as warm during the last months of the cycle. I tasted these 2011s from half-bottles that are far from ideal, especially since the half-bottles are not sold, and are used uniquely for tasting.