Found at the upper reaches of the Duero River (the Douro for you Portuguese readers), the high-elevation vineyards of Ribera del Duero are planted 2500 ft above sea level in sandy clay soils, developing under intensely hot summers and bitterly cold winters which combine to produce rich Tempranillo wines of exceptional quality matched by few peers. From this harsh climate, dark black cherry and blackberry-like fruit leads to dense, textured wines that pair wonderfully with red meats. Some of Spain’s most historically iconic and expensive wines call this region home.
Lot 832 comes to us from a top-notch producer in the riverside town of Aranda de Duero. Harvested from 20-40 year old vines, the grapes are cold fermented and macerated for two weeks before aging in French oak barrels, transforming into a pure expression of local terroir crafted by expert hands using techniques faithful to the traditions of one of Spain’s flagship DOs. This is an absolutely terrific introduction to Spanish Tempranillo for the newbies, and a sublime taste of the familiar to those already acquainted with some of Spain’s best.
Medium ruby with excellent legs, the nose is plush with cherry, fresh-sliced pastrami, dried figs, and cedar. The entry showcases an abundance of strong terroir – volcanic rocks and dried leaves hint towards dried blackberries and a sour cherry-like acidity amidst plentiful, perfectly integrated tannins. The finish is also terroir-driven and Old World as they come: dry with decent length, resonating with cherry before falling back to an ever-so-delicate tobacco and vanilla umami. A bit of aging on this bottle will reward the patient, as all the bones are here for an incredible wine four to five years out under proper cellar conditions.
Watch as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.