91+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"With up to one degree more alcohol than the 2016, the 2017 Picarana comes from a warmer and more Mediterranean year with lower yields, but as it often happens with the Albillo grape, it feels fresher than in the warmer years! This is expressive and very varietal, with marked bitterness in the finish, strong aromatics with a mixture of herbal and citrus characters. This was the earliest harvest in their history and could have picked the grapes in July, but they waited until September. Lovely. 12,000 bottles were produced and bottled in May 2018"
"Albillo Real (lower-acid Albillo), fermented in big barrels and foudres. A variety with naturally high alcohol and glycerol.
Highly aromatic, pears and floral notes. Broad and spicy on the palate, completely different from the Albillo Mayor just tasted (Dominio del Águila 2015). Broad and lightly tannic, with more freshness from the pear-like grain than from the acidity. Salty aftertaste. (JH)"
Vinous Reverie Notes
Importer: The early budding Albillo Real, despite being widely planted in the Sierra de Gredos is an intriguing choice, especially at high elevations sites prone to frost. Picarana is the “village” Albillo made at Bodega Marañones from fruit sourced from vineyards near the cellar at an elevation of 850m on granitic sand as well as fruit from Dehesa, their lowest elevation site at 650m on alluvial soils. Picarana is the name of species of bird that inhabits the hills of San Martín de Valdeiglesias.
While not an official DO, the Sierra de Gredos is home to a group of young, passionate and innovative winemakers who are pushing the boundaries of viniculture in a region that has long been seen as a place for bulk wine to slack the thirst of nearby Madrid. Even in a country of mountains and high plateaux, and despite its proximity to the sun-baked capital, the Sierra de Gredos seems more alpine, more remote and more rugged than one would imagine this far south. It is the unique combination of high altitudes and low latitudes that defines the potential of Gredos and when you throw in weathered slate, granite and schist soils and add some varieties that are pushed to their limits in such an extreme environment, is it any surprise that the wines made here are so captivating, pure and expressive?