The 2009 Alion, pure Tempranillo aged in French oak, has had the benefit of a couple more years in bottle than the 2011 and shows more nuances, more restraint and a more serious aroma profile. Itâ€™s also a ripe year, with notes of plums and shy violets, the oak well-integrated into the wine. The palate is full-bodied with abundant, fine-grained tannins and a velvety, juicy texture, with good extraction and stuffing: I think this will be longer lived than the 2011. They have different styles â€“ this is classier, and 2011 is more exuberant â€“ but they are both at a similar quality level. 320,000 bottles produced. Drink now-2021.
The big news here is that the 2010 Alion will not be released because there was a problem with the fining leaving suspended sediment that was floating in the wine, which made it cloudy. They decided not to release it. That means more than 300,000 bottles of wine will be destroyed, a hard decision to make, but as they are committed to offer only the very best quality to their customers, they decided to release 2011 earlier than normal and skip 2010 altogether. Thatâ€™s a brave decision, which implies a substantial cost to the winery to preserve the quality of the wines. I also tasted the 2009, which I had not tasted before.