Wine Enthusiast 94 points
Wine Advocate 94 points
Wine Spectator 91 points
Thanks to sandy soils of Toro, the growth of phylloxera that devastated so many wine-growing regions throughout the world, didn’t stand much chance here. Therefore Marcos is able to cultivate 30-45 years old, ungrafted Tinta de Toro vines. The harvest of grapes determined for Alabaster in 2007 yielded low 10hl per hectare.
The fact that everything is done by hand and Marcos’s very strict and attentive approach is a norm for his trademark. Grapes were harvested by hand (only perfectly mature and clean clusters were picked), brought to the winery to sorting tables where an additional selection was made. Another excessive selection was done when the grapes were de-stemmed by hand, one by one. Grapes chosen for this top of the line Alabaster wine were cold macerated for 5 days, traditionally foot pressed and left for 10 days fermentation in open tanks.
The must than stayed for an extended maceration of additional 14 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in new French oak Bordelaise barriques. Another set of 100% new French oak barrels was prepared for aging Alabaster for 18 months. 2007 is the first vintage of this wine. There was only 1,500 bottles made for U.S.A.
Eduardo Eguren told me that this is a first wine project that he is personally committed to (obviously, with Marcos’s hands on approach and TLC). So, Eguren family could be proud of yet another generation of passionate ‘vino entusiasta’. Very proud!
Does this gorgeous label evokes a structure of chocolate cookie, or is it just me? That description would give me the sensation of sweet taste unless you like the darkest, highest cacao content chocolate. The kind that is so rich, so bitter, yet velvety, melts in your mouth slowly and makes your eyes roll. Alabaster is something like that. Just sensational.
When I looked up the name Alabaster, I found out that it describes this wine perfectly. This name belongs to two distinct minerals: gypsum and calcite. One is so soft that you can scratch it with the fingernails. The other hard and resistant. Very muscular, sexy, but tender. Something like fighter Arnold with warm Ralph Fiennes’s eyes.
Alabaster offers intense dark color with aroma of blackberries, dark plums, spices and earthy tones. On the palate you taste super rich, very dense red and dark fruit with dust of cacao – so typical for Toro. A lot of tannins that promises super long aging potential. Espresso tones and spices on the never ending finish. Wow! This is a wine we are going to hear about! Very small production, very high reviews, hard to get = serious collectible.
Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: around $ 235.00
Ideal food pairing:
I wouldn’t pair anything with this wine. O.K., maybe a great little piece of Fillet Mignon with black pepper creamy sauce….. 🙂