Located in Quintana del Pidio (Burgos), near Aranda de Duero, this winery belongs to the Aragón family who launched it in the 1990s in the middle of a major boom in Ribera del Duero —1995 was the first vintage to reach the market. Cillar de Silos has benefited from a wealth of old vineyards found in this area where land consolidation (one of the main reasons behind the uprooting of vines in Ribera) had a minor impact.
The family owns 70Ha under vine; most of them are located in Quintana itself plus a few plots in La Aguilera and Gumiel de Izán, but they still source part of their grapes from local growers. New vines are being planted, including seven hectares in 2017 using cuttings form local vineyards. In terms of aging, they only use French oak barrels.
Brothers Roberto (management and sales) and Óscar Aragón (technical director and winemaker) are the driving forces behind Cillar de Silos. They favour balanced, round wines with moderate levels of oak. While their entry level wines are seen as smart Ribera del Duero buys, their premium reds show the specific character of different terroirs. Golfo, an original, Tempranillo-based vermouth, is also produced (€12).
The total number of bottles ranges between 350,000 and 400,000. Their portfolio starts with a young red (around 180,000 bottles, €8.5 in Spain) and a rosé (22,000 bottles, around €7), both of which are 100% Tempranillo, as well as their flagship Crianza (160,000 bottles, around €16). Until the 2010 vintage this wine was sold without the aging mention but it was later labeled as Crianza to avoid confusion with the young red.
Their premium range includes Torresilo (23,000 bottles, €32), a blend of old vines (45-80 years) grown on sandy clay soils, and two single vineyard wines: Flor de Silos (around 5,000 bottles, €43), sourced from their highest plot at 900m of altitude on gravel sandy soils, and La Viña de Amalio (over 2,000 bottles, €48). The latter was named after their father, who planted this vineyard in 1964 on clay sandy soils and northwestern exposure. The latest addition to the range is the single varietal Albillo Cillar Blanco de Silos (6,000 bottles, €15). After fermenting in stainless steel tanks, 15% of the wine is aged in 500-litre oak barrels so the style remains fresh and vertical.
In 1996, two ancient cellars were restored in the village so that the producer’s best bottles could be stored in the best temperature and humidity conditions. Since the late 2000s several Crianza batches have also been moved here. In the future, the winery hopes to release limited editions that have been laid down for at least five years.
The optimum storage conditions in these ancient, traditional cellars have inspired the new Dominio del Pidio project, a separate range of wines that are fermented in concrete tanks and will be aged in some of the many remaining caves in the old bodega district of Quintana del Pidio –works to restore the old wine presses and underground cellars are already underway.
Dominio del Pidio is a village wine project using grapes from Quintana del Pidio. It has been designed to make around 50,000 bottles. The range includes a 100% white Albillo (€54) partly aged in 500-litre oak barrels, a rosé blend (below 3,000 bottles, €34) of Albillo and Tempranillo and a distinctively aromatic and medium-bodied red (5,200 bottles in the first 2014 vintage, €54). 2015 is the first vintage for both the white and the rosé. The wines are being made at Cillar de Silos for the time being but the Aragón brothers expect to finish the restoration works in time for the 2018 vintage.
With a strong regional position particularly in the province of Burgos, Spain is the first market for Cillar de Silos. Exports account for 30-35% with the UK, the US and Puerto Rico as the main markets.