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BODEGAS ALION (OWNED BY BODEGAS VEGA SICILIA) - Press reviews


    • Wine Enthusiast

      2009 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (2014): 92 points

      Blueberry, savory plum and lemony oak are the key aromas on this firmly structured RDD. Flavors of blackened toast, blackberry, pepper and creamy oak finish pure, strong and long, with mint, licorice and chocolaty residual notes. Drink through 2022.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2009 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2014): 93

      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. It's also a ripe year, with notes of plums and shy violets, the oak will-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 - this is classier, and 2011 is more exuberant - but they are both at a similar quality level. 320,000 bottles produced. Drink now-2021.

    • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

      2009 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2013): 93

      Opaque ruby. Ripe cherry, dark berries and oak spice on the highly perfumed nose. Fleshy and sweet, offering intense blackberry and cherry-cola flavors that put on weight and become spicier with air. Finishes smooth and expansive, with a smoky nuance and youthfully chewy tannins. This powerful yet lithe wine boasts excellent focus and dark fruit intensity.

    • Wine Spectator

      2008 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Spectator (2013): 90

      Espresso and pomegranate flavors mingle in this polished red. Vibrant acidity keeps this lively, while mineral and herbal notes add interest to the finish. Balanced, firm and graceful. Drink now through 2016. 18,000 cases made. TM

    • International Wine Cellar

      2008 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2012): 92

      ($85) Deep ruby. Expressive aromas of candied cherry and cassis, with complicating notes of cola, anise and violet. Plush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and slow-building oak spice and licorice nuances. Closes on a smoky note, with spiciness and very good persistence. Pretty impressive for the year.

    • International Wine Cellar

      2007 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2011): 92

      Vivid ruby. Exotically perfumed bouquet displays dried cherry, cassis, pipe tobacco and floral scents; smells like a sexy Bordeaux. Lush, smoky red and dark berry flavors are deep and sweet, with silky tannins adding structure. Gains spiciness with air, with the tannins building slowly on the long, sappy finish. This really deserves at least another few years of bottle age.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2007 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2011): 94

      The 2007 Alion continues the winery’s string of outstanding vintages. It is 100% Tempranillo with malolactic fermentation in barrel followed by aging in new French oak. It offers up an exceptionally fragrant and complex bouquet of wood smoke, pencil lead, exotic spices, incense, lavender, and blackberry. On the palate it displays impressive volume, a smooth texture, layered flavors, and a lengthy, seamless finish. This impressive effort will continue to blossom for several more years and provide much pleasure through 2027. Bodegas Alion, owned by Vega Sicilia, is operated as an entirely separate entity with its own vineyards and winery but with the same exacting standards.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2006 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2010): 94

      The 2006 Alion, aged in 100% new French oak, is a saturated purple color with a fetching bouquet of sandalwood, smoke, Asian spices, incense, and black cherry confiture. In the mouth it has outstanding volume, kinky spice notes, savory black fruits, and enough fine-grained tannin to evolve for another 5-7 years. Its drinking window will extend from 2015 to 2031. Bodegas Alion was founded in 1991 by Vega Sicilia. Grapes are sourced from vineyards next to the winery and from Vega Sicilia’s own vineyards at Valbuena, a total of approximately 40 acres of Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines. Importer: Christopher Cannan, Europvin; www.europvin.com

    • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

      2006 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2010): 92 points

      Deep red. Intensely perfumed, mineral-driven scents of redcurrant, raspberry, spicecake and dried rose, with a smoky overlay. Juicy and precise, offering lively red fruit flavors and a suave floral pastille quality with aeration. Weightier on the finish, where the floral note lingers with authority and persistent spiciness.

    • Wine Enthusiast

      2006 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (2010): 93

      A lovely, modern-styled wine with clean, pure elegance on the nose, palate and finish. It opens with a blast of toast, and then unfolds with fresh black fruit flavors, smooth but lively tannins, and nice touches of heft, drive and simplicity. As good as Alion is, it’s not a complicated or overly complex wine.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2005 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2009): 94+ points

      The 2005 Alion has a captivating perfume of smoke, pencil lead, violets, truffle, cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied, firm, sweetly-fruited, layered, and splendidly balanced. It has several years of aging potential and will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2025.

    • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

      2005 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2009): 93

      Inky ruby. Smoky and wild on the nose, showing assertively pungent cherry and blackcurrant aromas, along with notes of pipe tobacco and smoked meat. Powerful, palate-staining cherry-cola and licorice flavors are given bite by a bitter berry skin quality. The licorice and smoky notes repeat on the long, focused finish, which reveals a sneaky sweetness. Showing a lot of power, and built to age.

    • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

      2004 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2008): 92 points

      Saturated red. Fresh strawberry and raspberry aromas are complemented by subtle Indian spice and mineral qualities. Really shows its fruit on the palate today, offering vivid red berries, blackberry and candied. Tannins make a brief appearance on the finish but are subsumed by the energetic fruit. I've no doubt that this will repay cellaring but it wouldn't be infanticide to drink a bottle now.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2004 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2008): 96 points

      The 2004 Alion is inky purple-colored with an alluring perfume of toasty oak, lavender, violets, mineral, blackberry, and blueberry compote. This is followed by a full-bodied, rich, opulent, wine with incipient complexity, and notes of licorice, mocha, and espresso emerging on the palate. The lengthy finish is pure and persistent. Give it 3-5 years in the cellar and drink it through 2025.

    • Wine Enthusiast

      2004 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (2008): 92

      Big and modern is the path that Alion (owned by Vega Sicilia) follows. This vintage is excellent, the best since 2001. It offers sweet, ripe black fruit with solid but balanced tannins. Chocolate and leather give the finish sweetness and style, while the overall take is that this is a forceful but sexy wine.

    • International Wine Cellar

      2003 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2007): 91 points

      Deep violet. Pungent oak spices accent ripe cherry and plum preserve on the nose, with sweet vanilla and mocha notes to the fore today. Lush and creamy, with ripe dark berry flavors and a strong, building kirsch quality. Weighty and powerful on the broad, sweet finish. Shows the vintage but the ripeness is well managed and there are no rough edges, giving this immediate appeal.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2003 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2007): 96+ points

      The good news is that the 2003 Alion is even better than the 2002. It has a similar personality but with more depth and concentration as well as structure. The ripe tannins suggest much more will be revealed with another 6-8 years in the bottle. It will drink well for 15+ years thereafter.

    • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

      2002 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2006): 88 Points

      Ruby-red. Ripe, toasty and high-toned, with notes of dark berries, cherry liqueur, succulent herbs, coffee and dark chocolate. Round and quite ripe, with expressive cherry flavor accented by mocha and cured tobacco. Broad and deep on the finish, with solid structure and a warm note of blackberry liqueur. (Europvin USA, Oakland, CA)

    • The Wine Advocate

      2001 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2005): 95 points : Outstanding

      The finest Alion I have tasted from this project owned by the proprietors of Vega Sicilia, the 2001 is a sensational effort. Moreover, while it's not inexpensive, 25,000 cases are produced. A deep ruby/purple color is followed by a glorious, smoky nose of espresso, dried herbs, roasted meats, sweet black currants, new saddle leather, plums, and cherries. This provocative, rich, complex, full-bodied Ribera del Duero possesses wonderful glycerin, fabulous purity, and a long finish that lasts for 40+ seconds. It is an opulent, voluptuously-styled wine with great stature. Drink it over the next decade.

    • International Wine Cellar

      2001 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2005): 95 points : Extraordinary

      Bright ruby-red. Musky aromas of currant, roasted herbs, Cuban tobacco, black olive and black pepper. Lush and supple but firmly built, with wonderfully velvety, multilayered flavors of outstanding depth. This combines the solid structure of a top Bordeaux with the sheer sweetness of fruit possible in Spain. As rich as this is, there's no impression of excess weight. The finish features very fine-grained tannins and outstanding palate-saturating persistence. Clearly the finest vintage to date for this wine.

    • Wine Enthusiast

      2000 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (2005): 91

      Leathery, earthy and entirely attractive; this is a wine that doesn’t seem to have come off an assembly line. The fruit is power-packed, dealing blackberry and plum along with chocolate and spice. In tasting this it’s hard to find any faults. Only the hard tannins stand out, calling for several years of cellar time. From Vega Sicilia.

    • The Wine Advocate

      2000 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2004): 92 points

      Produced by Vega Sicilia's owners, Alion 2000 Ribera del Duero is a beautifuly rich offering that was aged 13 months in French oak prior to bottling. A gorgeous perfume of expresso roast, smoked herbs, roasted meet and black currant liqueur is followed by rich, full-bodied flavours, a velvety texture, and a long, luscious finish.Consume it now and over the next 10-12 years.

    • Wine Spectator

      2000 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Spectator (2004): 90 points : Outstanding

      This alluring red offers blackberry, boysenberry, coffee and spice flavors, expressive yet refreshing on the palate. Not a powerhouse, but complex and refined. Drink now through 2008.

    • International Wine Cellar

      2000 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2004): 91 points

      Bright medium ruby. Knockout nose combines cherry, black raspberry, baconfat, woodsmoke, leather, underbrush and pipe tobacco. Lush, pliant and sweet, with layered flavors of strawberry, coffee, leather, minerals and charred oak. Distinctly wild but with terrific fruit. Finishes with dusty tannins and excellent length. Shows the Burgundian side of tempranillo in Ribera del Duero.

    • International Wine Cellar

      1999 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2003): 90 (+?) points

      Saturated, deep and ruby red. Raspberry, mocha and nutty oak on the nose, with notes of espresso and molasses. Dense, meaty and powerful; tightlly wound and not showing its fruit today but possesses a deep sweetness. A seriously structures young wine with a smoked meat character on the long, firmly tannic finish.

    • The Wine Advocate

      ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2003):

    • Wine Spectator

      1998 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Spectator (2002): 90 points : Outstanding

      This muscular red offers coffee, mineral and plum flavors wrapped in a blanket of ripe but firm tannins. Not giving much now, but it has concentration and balance, and should age well. Best after 2004.

    • International Wine Cellar

      1998 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (2001): 91+ Points

      Bright medium ruby. Sexy aromas of cassis, black raspberry, mocha, cocoa powder, game and minerals. Densely packed but juicy; a very stylish wine with a lovely light touch thanks to perfectly integrated acidity. Still quite penetrating and youthfully unevolved. Finishes very long and subtle, with terrific grip. A strong effort.

    • Wine & Spirits

      1997 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine & Spirits (2001): 92 Points

      Vega Sicilia's Alion vineyard continues to mature, producing exceptional wines. This one is by far the best we've seen from Ribera del Duero in the '97 vintage, showing the pay off of a great vineyard well grown. It starts with scents of violets, and through oak dominates the aroma, the floral tones are striking. Then it's tight and unyielding from the first sip, though you can feel how big and brooding it is, how red it will become when it moves past the youthful blackness. For now, tannins last beyond the fruit, but the fruit is still perceptible underneath. This could grow into something grand.

    • Wine Enthusiast

      1996 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (2000): 95

      A spectacular modern-style wine from an excellent vintage. It’s deep as night, almost opaque, with giant blackberry, licorice, coffee and bacon aromas. It offers gorgeous flavors of cassis, blackberry, coffee and tobacco, and then finishes smooth and long, with mouth-coating dusty tannins. It deserves all the superlatives you could throw at it, and in three to five years it will be even better than it is now.

    • International Wine Cellar

      1996 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (1999): 91+ Points; Outstanding

      Bright ruby. Superripe, slightly roasted aromas of currants, dark chocolate and exotic baking spices. Sweet, dense and supple; compared to Vega Sicilia, this has a suaver, more French texture. Really coats the mouth. But still quite youthfully unevolved in the middle. Finishes with chewy ripe tannins and powerful fruit.

    • Wine Spectator

      1996 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Spectator (1999): 91 points

      Balanced and intense, this generous red offers cassis, plum, chocolate and toast flavors, with ripe tannins and a clean finish. It has enough concentration to age and enough grace to be delicious now. Drink now through 2008.

    • The Wine Advocate

      1995 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (2000): 90 points

      This beautifully made Spanish red represent a more modern approach to winemaking. Sweet toasty oak competes with jammy black cherry and berry fruit in this deep, low acid offering. It possesses excellent to outstanding concentration, top flight purity, and overall equilibrium. Drink this impressively-endowed Ribera del Duero over the next 10-12 years.

    • Wine Enthusiast

      1995 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (1999): 89 Points; Excellent

      Under the same ownership as Vega Sicilia, this estate has produced a modern, rich wine, with a concentrated ruby/purple color and a balanced aromas of black currants and wood. This is echoed on the palate, where's there's a sense of luxurious ripe fuit.

    • 1995 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Robin Garr's Wine Lover's Page (1998): (2nd Review)

      Bottled; to be released in 1999. Nineteen ninety-five was a problematic year. Nevertheless, the 1995 Alion is one of the most successful wines of the vintage. The color is between ruby and dark red with purple edges; not as deep as the 1994. Both the nose and palate right now are somewhat dominated by toasty but well-integrated new oak aromas. Furthermore, there are scents of cherries, plums and

      caramel. Due to the deft use of oak, the palate shows good structure, more weight than I would have guessed tasting from barrel a year ago, medium to strong tannins and acidity, medium to full concentration and a long, oak-influenced finish. Drinkable 1999-2005. Although not quite as successful as the stellar 1994, this is a noteworthy success. By not overextracting and overoaking the wine in a vintage that did not provide the same matiere' and ripeness as in 1994 and 1996, the result is a slightly less hedonistic but more elegant and intellectual wine that will be a joy to drink upon release. (Florian Miguel Hermann)

    • International Wine Cellar

      1994 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      International Wine Cellar (1998): 91 Points; Outstanding.

      Dark red. Warm, complex aromas of redcurrants, raspberries, lead pencil, tobacco, loam and smoky oak. Silky, rich raspberry and redcurrant flavors given shape by sound, ripe acidity. Quite laid-back and youthful today, but harmonious from the outset. Roasted coffee and loam notes complement the berry fruit. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and excellent persistence.

    • 1994 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Spanish Wine Page (1998):

      Rich, dark, cherry red color. Elegant and complex aromas of fine oak and ripe, jammy fruit. Tasty, tannic palate; well-balanced and long. Oak tannins are just a bit noticeable, but will certainly soften over time, making this even better. Since Alion was first introduced (vintage 1991), Vega Sicilia's second' winery has been a huge success. Limited production and (use of) the same basic technology have made Winemaker Mariano Garcia's wines among Spain's very best. The 1994 is no exception.; it is an elegant, full-bodied red sure to improve with 4-5 years of aging.

    • 1994 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Vault (1998): 90 Points; Outstanding.

      "Owned by Vega Sicilia, and destined to be one of the stars of this region. Aged in French oak barrels (mostly Alliers), and made from 100 percent Tempranillo, this seems to be Vega's answer to the challenge of Pesquera. The nose is spectacular, with Richebourg-like scents of plums, blackberry, coffee, herb tones, Vosne spices, hints of game, violets and toasty new oak. Deep, full and packed with fruit on the palate, with excellent focus, a juicy core of fruit, ripe tannins, and a long, very complex finish. This is a very serious wine! 2000-2012." (J. Gilman)

    • Wine Enthusiast

      1993 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Enthusiast (1998): 89 Points; Excellent; Highly Recommended.

      "Full ruby-red appearance. Moderately full-bodied. Highly extracted. Dill pickle, blackcurrants, black tea. Rich, oak-accented aromas lead to a full, spicy palate with deep black fruit flavors. This is still showing good tannic grip and a dry finish, but is quite drinkable now with the right sort of food. Cellar Selection."

    • The Wine Advocate

      1993 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      The Wine Advocate (1998): 89 Points; Excellent.

      Possesses more aggressive tannin (than the 1994), in addition to a deep, dense, dark plum color and a sweet vanillin, black cherry, kirsch and smoke-scented nose with a hint of coffee. Spicy and rich, with youthful, unevolved grapey flavors, this is another attractive, excellent offering from this up-and-coming Ribera del Duero winery. It should drink well for 10-12 years.

    • 1993 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Underground Wine Journal (1998): 18/20 Points; Outstanding.

      Has a deep, plummy and cedary perfume. The terrific cedar, spice and plum flavors are rich, supple, balanced and round, with good depth, complexity and length--delicious!

    • Wine Spectator

      1992 ribera del duero BODEGAS ALION
      Wine Spectator (1998): 90 Points; Outstanding.

      "Dark, polished and powerful, loaded with ripe plum, licorice and chocolate flavors of enough concentration to match the full tannins. Long, clean finish. 3266 cases."