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In the 2009 El Vínculo (the name means the tie or the bond in Spanish) Alejandro Fernández demonstrates La Mancha’s ability to make world class wine. The recently released 2009 El Vínculo exudes an infectious charm in its beautiful aromatic profile and plush flavors. For starters, deep blackberry and currant scents mingle with hints of sandalwood and Asian spices to delight the nose and prepare the palate for the wine’s soft succulent flavors that roll across the tongue and fill the mouth. Happily, this old vine Tempranillo combines tremendous flavor with subtle complexity, as El Vínculo’s velvety texture is backed by fine grained tannins, which add lift and allow the wine to exit with a graceful flourish. Enjoy the gracious 2009 El Vínculo at cool room temperature (no more than 66°F) now and over the next four years. For optimal enjoyment we suggest allowing this wine to breathe in a decanter or glass for at least 15-20 minutes, but that’s only if you have the patience to wait that long
The 2009 El Vínculo needs nothing, except a good wine glass to shine. We enjoyed this recently released El Vínculo thoroughly on its own as well as with food. But in an ideal world, one has a bottle at table and another bottle open on hand to continue the festivities. As a companion to food, we recommend culinary accompaniments consummate with El Vínculo’s silky, polished structure. Consequently, we enjoy serving Alejandro Fernández’s old vine Tempranillo with the finest cuts of meat, rich stews, and thick country cassoulets. Pork with Black Olives and Capers is a particular favorite of ours to grace the table in the company of El Vínculo. Veal can easily be substituted for pork in this dish for an equally rewarding experience. Duck Breast served Spanish style in a pungent, roasted garlic sauce with sliced stuffed olives and braised vegetables provides another winning companion. Braised Onions and Short Ribs provide a tasty accompaniment with this wine as well.
El Vínculo is the fourth and last venture in great old vine Tempranillo from the legendary Alejandro Fernández, a man who personifies the mercurial 20th century Spanish experience. A family breadwinner from the age of thirteen, he has been a soldier, salesman, and master carpenter. After military service, he began working for an agricultural equipment firm, where he attained national success with the development of a revolutionary beet harvester. And while toiling on the land with farmers, he harvested yearly his own grapes and made his own wine, all the while dreaming of the day he would establish his very own commercial bodega for the production of Spain’s greatest red wine.
In 1972, at a time when most growers in the Ribera del Duero were pulling up vines in favor of more lucrative crops, Alejandro and his wife, Esperanza, licensed Pesquera, their now famous Ribera del Duero bodega, which is lodged in a 16th century logar and press house. Today, Alejandro Fernández bears the name of “The King of Tempranillo,” as he is now widely acknowledged as the unrivaled master of Spain’s greatest grape variety. He has accomplished this feat by the selection of the ideal soils for the temperamental Tempranillo grape, great innovation in the cellar as well as in the vineyard, and an uncompromising desire to produce the best red wine in Spain.
Since the founding of Pesquera, Bodegas Alejandro Fernández has created three other fabulous Tempranillo properties. El Vínculo (this month’s feature) is the fourth estate in the king’s crown. El Vínculo was established in 1999 near the village of Campo de Criptana in La Mancha’s Ciudad Real province. Alejandro first discovered La Mancha’s potential for world class Tempranillo when he came across an isolated stand of old vine Tempranillo growing amidst Campo de Criptana’s sea of white grapes. Realizing the potential of this isolated vineyard, Alejandro set his mind to producing the finest old vine Tempranillo in La Mancha. El Vínculo’s first vintage (1999) was released in 2001 to considerable acclaim. Today, El Vínculo reigns as the fourth jewel in Alejandro Fernández’s crown of great Tempranillo estates and is often acknowledged to be the ultimate example of old vine Tempranillo in Castilla La Mancha. Alejandro Fernández’s other great Tempranillo estates include Pesquera and Condado de Haza in Ribera del Duero and Dehesa La Granja in Zamora.
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