Vinous – 94
(virtually all tempranillo, with a bit of merlot; fermented in large oak tanks and raised in a 50/50 blend of French and American oak, followed by brief sojourns in used oak barrels and vats before bottling): Opaque ruby. Spice- and mineral-accented aromas of dark berries, cherry pit and potpourri, with a toasty topnote. Minerally, incisive and sweet on the palate, offering smoky cherry and blackcurrant flavors complicated by vanilla, mocha and licorice. Shows impressive power and vivacity on the youthfully tannic finish, with the smoke and spice notes strongly repeating.
Robert Parker – 95
No, the 2009 Valbuena is not a current release, but I had a bottle blind at a tasting and most people, including myself, guessed it was a Grand Cru Burgundy, so aromatic, floral, expressive and elegant it was. We couldn’t believe it when the wine was revealed. Later, a bottle of the 2010 was opened, and it confirmed it as the best Valbuena of recent times, with a rare combination of elegance and power, combining characters of fine Burgundy and elegant Syrah from the Northern Rhone.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2025