2011 CAIR Crianza, Ribera del Duero
Dominio de Cair is the latest winery (Bodega) built by Juan Luis Cañas in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain.
For this 100% Tempranillo wine, grapes were sourced from old vines that average 40 to 50 years of age.
After hand-harvest, grapes went through a double sorting table to eliminate any vegetal debris, before fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
Aging took 14 month in 50% French and 50% American oak barrels.
So how good is this 2011 CAIR Crianza ?
This Ribera vino comes in a dark dense red color, a tiny bit evolved with subtle oranges hues, yet still with some purple to it.
Nose is very intense, very fruity and ripe with stewed fruit aromas: stewed apples, purple plum.
A wealth of sweet spices too: nutmeg, clove, and lifted white pepper notes. This is completed by powerful oaky notes of vanilla, roasted hazelnut and coconut, clearly intensifying the whole.
From there the mouth-feel doesn’t disappoint!
It actually strikes hard with a massive punch of body and flavor intensity.
As noticed on the nose, this is very ripe and powerful, almost jammy though not overly done. It does stay composed and keeps its ‘old world’ overall savoriness with a touch of earthiness.
But plenty of stewed fruit again, and nearly jammy dark berries.
A wealth of oaky characters, as much aromatically as texturally bringing a smooth velvety feel.
Long warm and rather complex finish.
A very well made flavor-bomb of a concentrated wine, combining very ripe fruit characters with a wealth of oak, and a lot of spiciness.
Yet it’s complexity and tannic refinement maintain its composure and a relative elegance.
For lovers of big juicy Spanish reds, with the richness of ripe fruit and solid but smooth tannins combined with some earthy savoriness.
When to drink?
Very good to drink now, with already-developed complexity and plenty of spices.
But the primary fruit characters are still very pungent and fresh, and the oak obvious. Drink it as is if you’re after this type of flavor profile, or give it 3 to 10 years to see how tannins will smoothen further and the savory spiciness develop.