Producer profile: Aalto

In less than 16 years, Javier Zaccagnini and Mariano Garcia have achieved their aim – to make a wine in Ribera del Duero equal to the world’s best. Sarah Jane Evans MW meets the duo and discovers the secrets of their success

Aalto: Sei Solo

This is Javier Zaccagnini’s own project, launched in 2011, from 60-year-old wines in La Horra. As he says, ‘Aalto was Mariano’s project; I wanted one of my own.’ His focus is on developing a Burgundian-style Tinto Fino with more elegance and less power than is common in Ribera del Duero. As a result there is no new oak.

The small-scale production is fermented in four small 20hl vats; the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are spontaneous; no press wine is added to boost the concentration. ‘I wanted to forget about structure and power; that’s not my style.’ The wines are matured in 228-litre and 600-litre, two-year-old French oak barrels.

The final blend creates two wines: Sei Solo, of which there were 1,200 bottles in 2011, and Preludio, 4,000 bottles. And the name? Stemming from his great love of music, it comes from six solo masterpieces for the violin, by Bach.

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