Arrocal Angel

"Clings with impressive fruit-driven tenacity on the strikingly long finish" —
Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Ribera del Duero D.O.
100% Tinto Fino, from the single, Finca La Clara vineyard, planted in 1936
825 meters / very sandy alluvial soil
Farming Methods
Practicing Organic
Hand harvested at very low yields of less than 1 ton/acre
Fermented with native microbes for 20 days in vertical oak vats, manual punchdown, no pumpovers, malolactic conversion in barrel
Aged 20 months in 100% new, French oak barrels, limited to 3,000 bottles/vintage
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Arrocal Angel 2011
94 (WE) 93 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
94 Wine Enthusiast Cool, earthy blackberry, cassis and boot-leather aromas are strapping and integrated. This feels layered and structured, with chewy depth, firm tannins and power. Baked, toasty, chocolaty flavors bring ripe-fruit notes of fig, prune and blackberry, while the finish is long and savory, with a strong accent of wood spice. Drink through 2025.
93 Vinous Media (made from 70-year-old vines, with malo and 20 months of aging in new French oak barriques): Opaque ruby. Powerful, oak-spiced aromas of ripe cherry and red berries, cola and vanilla bean, with a sexy floral nuance building in the glass. Round and appealingly sweet, offering raspberry liqueur and floral pastille flavors, with intense Asian spice and mocha qualities coming up with aeration. Clings with impressive fruit-driven tenacity on the strikingly long finish, which features velvety tannins and lingering red fruit and allspice flourishes. I'd give this sexy wine at least another five years of cellaring but wouldn't fault anyone for getting into it now, for its exuberant fruit and spiciness. 2020 – 2026
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Arrocal Angel 2012
92 (VM) 90 (WS)
Score Publication Review Copy
92 Vinous Media Inky ruby. An expansive, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, incense and oak spice, with a sexy floral overtone. Silky and focused on the palate, offering concentrated, energetic raspberry and cherry-vanilla flavors that become livelier with aeration. In an emphatically fruity, vibrant style, boasting excellent closing focus and persistence and gentle gripping tannins. This wine went through malo and was aged in 100% new French oak barriques. 2020 – 2026
90 Wine Spectator This savory red shows focus and balance, with woodsy, smoky and mineral notes framing a core of berry and graphite, supported by balsamic acidity and firm tannins.Reserved but deep.
September 30, 2016
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Arrocal Angel 2014
92+ (VfC) 92 (WE) 90 (RP)
Score Publication Review Copy
92+ View from the Cellar The Ángel bottling from Bodegas Arrocal is an old vine cuvée made from seventy-five year-old tempranillo vines grown in the vineyard of El Portillo. The wine is raised entirely in new French oak, with the malolactic fermentation also taking place in barrel. The wine is quite new oaky on the nose, but nicely done in this style, as it wafts from the glass in a mix of red plums, black cherries, cocoa powder, a hint of blood orange and plenty of smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and really well-balanced, with a classy core of fruit, fine-grained, well-integrated tannins and excellent length and grip on the nascentlyIt needs a couple of years to fully integrate its new oak, though it has plenty of depth of fruit to do so with a bit of patience. It will be very interesting to see if it will be as complex as the 2014 Passión Arrocal bottling when it is ready to drink, but it is certainly a step up from that excellent wine in terms of palate polish out of the blocks. This is an excellent wine, but it might be even better with less new oak! 2022-2050+.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
92 Wine Enthusiast Smoky oak tops a nose with root beer, chimney draft and heady berry aromas. A thick, creamy palate delivers the heft Ribera is known for, while this tastes of ripe blackberry, cassis, coconut, vanilla and mocha. A lush finish is packed to the brim, but while this is massively fruity and oaky, to call it elegant, sophisticated or refined would be stretching things.
May 2019
90 The Wine Advocate One of the growing number of single-vineyard bottlings, the 2014 Ángel is produced with grapes from the vineyard planted by grandfather Ángel some 75 years ago. It fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in French barriques for 20 months. It's ripe, a little heady and generously oaked, with a mixture of dark berry fruit, toast and spices and a medium to full-bodied palate with some grainy tannins and a faint bitterness in the finish. 3,500 bottles were filled in March 2017.
August 2018 - Issue 238
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Arrocal Angel 2015
93 (VfC) 93 (WRO) 93 (VM) 93 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
93 View from the Cellar The Ángel bottling from Bodegas Arrocal is one of the bodegas’ old vine cuvées, with the 2015 version hailing from the eighty-plus year-old tempranillo vines of the Finca Clara vineyard. The wine is raised entirely in new French oak, with the malolactic fermentation also taking place in barrel. The 2015 Ángel comes in at fourteen percent octane and offers up a deep and classy bouquet of red and black cherries, a hint of raspberry, a fine base of soil, cigar wrapper and a very refined framing of smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full bodied, focused and very well-balanced, with a fine core, really good soil signature and a long, ripely tannic and classy finish. As I mentioned in my note on the 2014 Ángel, this is quite new oaky in personality out of the blocks, but it is impeccably balanced and will age beautifully. 2030-2060+.
Issue # 85 - January/February 2020
93 Wine Review Online Sourced from the Finca de Clara vineyard planted 84 years ago, this wine provides an object lesson in what venerable Tempranillo vines from Ribera del Duero can achieve when they are deftly tended and their fruit is skillfully crafted. That fruit was treated to 100% new French oak, so it was certainly lavished with expensive treatment. However, what really merits mention in terms of wood is how little it shows at this early point in the wine’s aging trajectory, rather than how prominent it seems. I don’t know the toast level of the barrels, but the sensory signature is more spicy and toasty than smoky, and regardless of the toast level, it is a testament to the quality of the fruit that it has already soaked up so much more of the wood than one would expect to sense from a glass, based on the percentage of new barrels. That fruit is ripe and rich, but “purity” is the first descriptor that comes to mind, and that too is remarkable in view of all that new oak. Black cherry is the main fruit note, but blackberry is also suggested with a thin line of red fruit showing as well. This is already delicious, but I have no doubt that it will develop in positive directions for many more years…as in, 20 or so. As an aside, the 2011 (which was a relatively hot year like 2015) is just gorgeous and still obviously on the upswing, which I note as a point of comparison but also a recommendation in case you can find a bottle to buy. Considering the excellent quality of this wine, the expense involved in its production process and the age of the vines involved, this is a great value at its price.
Michael Franz - July 2020
93 Vinous Media Inky violet. Mineral- and smoke-accented red and dark berries and vanilla on the deeply perfumed nose, along with a hint of cracked pepper that adds complexity and spicy lift. Juicy, densely packed cherry and black raspberry flavors show appealing sweetness and unfold slowly with air. Picks up a suave floral nuance on the impressively long finish, which is framed by gently chewy, well-knit tannins. 2022 – 2030
Josh Raynolds - February 2021
93 Wine Enthusiast Dark garnet to the eye, this wine offers a bouquet of black plum, cassis and violet. It is bright on the palate, with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, chocolate-covered espresso bean and black pepper. Grippy tannins recede into a fruit-filled finish.
M.D. - June/July 2022
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Arrocal Angel 2016
95 (WRO) 94 (VM) 93+ (VfC) 92 (WS)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 Wine Review Online Arrocal is among my favorite bodegas in all of Spain, and by dint of that, among my favorite producers in the entire world of wine. That being the case, it was with great anticipation that I sat down for a study session with the two top wines from the beautifully stylish, complete vintage of 2016, along with the bodega’s always-overachieving “Selección” bottling from 2018 as a point of reference, vintage-wise. The “Ángel” bottling from 2016 is gorgeous, with lovely aromas, virtually perfect ripeness, and wonderful structural proportionality showing it its fruit, acidity, tannin and wood. This wine always exudes “charm,” which is definitely not always the case in higher-end wines from Ribera, which often are marked by a one-two punch of concentrated fruit and grippy new oak when first released — and for years afterward. By contrast, this experience is all about something silken and seamless, and the 2016 vintage of this wine hits a new high in this respect. Already gorgeous, this will develop additional complexities over the next decade with no risk of drying out or losing its fruit. By way of context, you’d pay $100 for wine of this quality from Napa — if you were really lucky.
Michael Franz - May 18, 2021
94 Vinous Media Deep, shimmering ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes spice-accented red and blue fruits, and floral, vanilla and licorice notes emerge as the wine opens up. Sappy, concentrated and penetrating on the palate, offering sweet boysenberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and a hint of smokiness. Shows excellent clarity and repeating florality on the clinging finish, which is given shape by supple, well-knit tannins. 2022-2032.
Josh Raynolds – July 6, 2021 Central Spain Additions
93+ View from the Cellar The Angel Tinto bottling from Bodegas Arrocal is one of their two very old vine cuvees, as the Tempranillo used for this bottling all hails from the Finca La Clara vineyard, which was planted all the way back in 1936! The vines sit at eight hundred and twenty-five meters above sea level and are farmed organically. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts, undergoes malo in barrel and is aged for twenty-six months in French oak casks. The 2016 Angel comes in listed at fourteen percent octane and offers up a pure, nascently complex and new oaky nose of black cherries, black plums, raw cocoa, cigar smoke, a nice touch of soil and a good framing of nutty and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with a lovely sense of nascent elegance on the attack, a fine core of fruit, good focus and grip and a long, tannic and well-balanced finish. This wine needs time to soften up and fully integrate its new oak, but in due course, it is going to be a superb wine. That said, I have the sense that these great old vines deserve to be treated more like Petrus, rather than Angelus, with the malolactic done in tank and a bit less obvious new oak in the personality of the wine, as there is so clearly such great potential here with this old vineyard that it seems paramount to me to not let any aspect of the winemaking get in the way of the expression of underlying terroir in this obviously very special vineyard. This is a very lovely wine, but a bit less new oak and malo in tank could take it to the stars! 2028-2060.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021
92 Wine Spectator Black cherry compote, anise and coffee flavors show concentration in this glossy, suave red, layered together with violet, tea and steeped currant elements. Shows good harmony and complexity, with a long finish. Drink now through 2033. 150 cases made, 45 cases imported.
Gillian Sciaretta; September 30, 2021
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