|94||Wine Review Online||Technical director Eduardo Garcia turned in a terrific performance when crafting the 2012 Astrales, which shows virtually perfect balance and proportionality. At three years of age, it is already quite complex and easy to enjoy, though there is not the slightest hint of premature development. Layered aromas and flavors include notes of black cherry and blackberry along with accents recalling espresso bean, cocoa powder and baking spices. What little oak is still showing displays itself in such a subtle manner that it seems more like an extension of the fruit’s complexity than a distinct element. Rounded in texture and quite deep in flavor, the wine has enough definition and grip to work best with food, but the tannins are so fine-grained and polished in character that you’ll find yourself tempted to sip this on its own. My strong sense (based on long experience) is that other reviewers tend to under-score this wine because it is actually the second-tier offering from Los Astrales, with the flagship bottling being a very old-vine, 100% new French oak offering under the proprietary name of “Christina.” There’s no doubting that the Christina bottling is a truly sensational wine, but so too is this standard release, which is already irresistible but nevertheless sure to improve from at least five more years of cellaring.|
|93||The Wine Advocate||I was very impressed with the 2012 Astrales, which has notes of flowers, Indian spices, tons of fruit and nicely integrated oak. It's compact, with no fissures, great balance and all components in sync, fine-grained tannins and good acidity. 54,000 bottles produced.|
|92||The Wine Enthusiast||Hailing from a warm year, this smells heavy and raisiny, with crusty, toasty blackberry and plum scents. A wide, smooth palate shows soft but present tannins, while this tastes baked, with blackberry, loam and prune flavors. A toasty finish with a chocolate cake note confirms the wine’s ripeness. Best enjoyed 2016–2022.|
|92||Vinous Media||Saturated ruby. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit preserve and lavender pastille scents are complemented by vanilla, anise and pipe tobacco. Sweet, broad and seamless, offering sappy blueberry and cherry-vanilla flavors that tighten up with aeration. The floral quality comes back emphatically on a long, gently tannic finish that leaves smoke and mineral notes behind. This suave, energetic wine spent 20 months in 80% French and 20% America oak barrels, a third of them new. 2019 – 2024|
|91||View from the Cellar||The 2012 Astrales regular bottling is its customary 14.5 percent octane on the label and is absolutely beautiful on the nose, which wafts from the glass in a classy constellation of black cherries, sweet cassis, pomegranate, a touch of lead pencil, cigar ash, a nice touch of soil and a very discreet framing of spicy new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant in profile, with a fine black fruity core, excellent soil signature, blossoming complexity and a long, focused and moderately tannic finish. I do not know if this wine had a touch more new wood to it than the 2014 (which is the only one I had a technical sheet for), but I would guess that this was a touch higher than twenty percent new oak (this was a very short crop), as there is just a touch of backend wood tannin firming up the finish. This is a superb wine in the making, but it needs a few more years in the cellar to allow the tannins to more fully resolve. 2019-2045.|
|91||Wine Spectator||Dense and polished, this red delivers mouthfilling flavors of black cherry, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, with a balanced structure and a fresh finish. Focused, showing good energy. Drink now through 2022.|
|Decanter World Wine Awards||Exuberant fruit spread over fresh bread and brioche on the dense, plummy palate. Fine, fragrant oak laces through muscular, meaty layers, suggesting real potential. Accomplished and intense expression.|
|93||Guia Penin||Color: Cherry, Garnet Rim; Aroma: Mineral, Expressive, Spicy; Palate: Tasty, Ripe Fruit, Long, Good Acidity, Balanced|
|92||JamesSuckling.com||“Flavorful and intense red with great purity of fruit on the nose. Fresh strawberries, raspberries and mint meet clove undertones. Full-bodied with silky tannins and a very long, fresh and savory finish. Drink now.”|
|91||View from the Cellar||Bodegas los Astrales clearly has some of the top vineyards in the region, as their 2013 is nearly as refined as their 2014 version, which is one of the most elegant examples of Ribera del Duero I have tasted not made by Goyo Garcia! The 2013 Astrales is beautifully perfumed on the nose, wafting from the glass in a mix of plums, black raspberries, cigar wrapper, a hint of balsamic tones, a good base of soil, lead pencil and a bit of oak spice. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely suave on the attack, with a good core, fine focus and grip and a long and slightly chewy backend, with a touch of the oak tannins perking up the finish. This is not quite as elegant as the beautiful 2014 version, as the wood is not as seamlessly integrated, but this is still good juice in the making. 2020-2045+.|
|91||Vinous Media||(aged for 20 months in new and used French and American oak barrels) Bright ruby. Highly perfumed cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suggestions of spicecake, vanilla and candied licorice. Sappy, appealingly sweet blackberry, cherry-vanilla and floral pastille flavors show very good depth as well as vivacity, and a bright mineral note adds back-end cut. Picks up a spicy note on the persistent finish, which features a subtle mocha quality and silky tannins that sneak in slowly.|
|90||Wine & Spirits Magazine||Beware of this wine’s tannins: They ask for a good cut of meat as soon as they enter the mouth. Probably a wiser decision would be to save it for a couple of years, when those tannins have mellowed enough to let you fully enjoy the ripe red fruit flavors and exotic spices. That’s when you should open it for lechazo, the traditional roasted baby lamb of the area.|
|Decanter World Wine Awards||Dark fruit aromas covered by generous oak. Substantial tannin, juicy acidity, blackberry and damson fruit.|
|93+||View from the Cellar||The 2014 Astrales Tinto from Bodegas Astrales is produced from forty year-old bush vines of tempranillo and raised in a combination of seventy percent French casks and thirty percent American barrels, with twenty percent of the oak new. The 2014 is 14.5 percent octane and offers up a really superb bouquet of cassis, black plums, cigar wrapper, a fine base of soil, a touch of balsam bough, woodsmoke and a very stylish and discreet framing of nutty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and impressively light on its feet, with excellent nascent complexity, fine focus and grip, moderate tannins and very fine length on the well-balanced finish. This carries its 14.5 percent very well indeed and shows no signs of heat, but will need a few years in the cellar to let the tannins soften up a bit and the secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. It is one of the most sophisticated bottles of Ribera del Duero I have tasted in a long time outside of the purview of Goyo Garcia! 2021-2050+.|
|93||The Wine Enthusiast||Lusty black-fruit aromas are earthy, oaky and smooth, exemplifying an excellent Ribera del Duero. A palate with pulsing acidity tempers rich flavors of blackberry, chocolate and vanilla. Creamy oak and some fire on the finish guarantee that this will evolve nicely through 2028. - Editor's Choice
|93||Wine Review Online||The 2014 release of Astrales is a terrific success and a great example of the wonderful character that can be conjured from Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero. Dark and dense and deeply flavored, with lavish accents of toast, spices and smoke from oak aging, this has plenty of power to please lovers of big, rich wine. Yet it also displays considerable finesse, with very pure fruit flavors (dark cherry predominating) that ultimately outrun the wood notes, lending an overall sense of freshness and grace to the wine. As a result, you could pair this successfully with anything from a charcoal grilled steak to less assertive dishes like roasted pork or duck. it will benefit considerably from decanting, but take care not to let anyone else taste it after you pull the cork...or it will never last until dinner is actually served.
Michael Franz; July 25, 2017
|92||Vinous Media||(raised in new and used French and American oak barrels for 20 months) Opaque ruby. Vibrant red and dark berry and floral scents, along with suggestions of licorice, vanilla and pipe tobacco. Sweet and sharply focused on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors sharpened by a vein of zesty minerality. Densely packed yet lithe, delivering solid closing thrust; smooth tannins lend shape and gentle grip. I like the vivacity of this wine.|
|92||The Wine Advocate||The 2014 Astrales is pure Tempranillo from different, younger and older Tempranillo vineyards, and matured in French and American oak barrels for 18 months. It has a sweet, fruit-driven nose with judicious oak that shows the hand of a winemaker. The palate is sleek and polished, also quite nicely crafted. 58,000 bottles. 2017 - 2022|
|91||Wine Spectator||A fleshy texture carries ripe flavors of plum, blackberry, cola and toast in this modern-style red. The well-integrated tannins and lively acidity give way to a clean, spicy finish. Drink now through 2024.|
|93||View from the Cellar||The 2015 Astrales Tinto is pretty ripe, coming in at 14.5 percent octane, but offers up fine purity in its bouquet of red plums, red and black cherries, cocoa powder, a good base of soil and smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, nascently complex and very well-balanced, with a fine core of fruit, ripe, seamless tannins and lovely focus and grip on the poised and classy finish. Despite its 14.5 percent alcohol, this wine is cool in the mouth and beautifully balanced. I would give it four or five years in the cellar to allow some of its secondary layers of complexity to emerge. 2022-2050.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
|91||Wine Spectator||Plum and blackberry flavors mingle with loamy earth, licorice and smoky notes in this solid red. Muscular tannins are well-integrated, showing enough acidity for balance. Drink now through 2030.
September 30, 2018 Issue