Ribera del Duero – an invitation

Ribera del Duero is an area that have brought many spectacular wines to my glass, over the years. I still remember one stormy evening about 15 years ago in Hellerup. We tasted many good wines this evening, but the 2 Vega Sicilia Unico, and the Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial still stands out in my memory.  I my opinion the wines of Ribera del Duero have a very strong character and when you taste them blind, they tend to taste like Bordeaux wines, but still with a Spanish touch. Most of the time very balanced with integrated tannins from the oak, and very rarely overdone. In recent years Ribera del Duero have gained strong reputation here in Denmark, due to the fantastic wines of Peter Sisseck at Pingus and Hacienda Monasterio, notes to his wines are here, in Danish. I looked closer at the area, when I wrote my WSET Unit 1 assignment, last year. I actually wrote a paper about how to make a sales strategy for a newly established winery.

This month I’m going to Ribera del Duero for the first time, and I’m looking forward to it, like a little child to Christmas eve. I have been invited to take part in “The Tecnical Tasting of the 2011 Vintage”, thank you. I have taken a few day’s vacation, and look forward to this exciting experience. Just to test some wines from the market, I visited the local Super Market, Dalgaard, to buy a few wines. They have a broad and good selection of wines from Ribera del Duero. I didn’t buy PSI or QS, but bought these 2 wines, I never tasted before.

Ribera del Duero crianza

Funky label – 2006 Crianza

2006 Peña Real, Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel, Ribera del Duero – medium ruby with brown rim. Developed aromas of plums, cedar, blackberry, jam, black pebber and cabbage. Dry on the palate with medium (+) acidity, medium intensity and grenn stalky tannins, medium body and flavor characteristics of green bell pebber, boysenberries and sweet plums. Seems unbalanced, with too high alcohol and to light body. Not the funniest wine. Rating: 83 point of 100 on my scale.

Ribera del Duero, montecastro

Modern label and wine

2007 Montecastro, Ribera del Duero – a producer not using the Crianza/Reserva terms, but still maturing his wine for more than 12 month in oak before bottling. This wine is closer to a Reserva, than a regular Crianza. Also prices more than double one the Peña Real.
Medium intens colour with garnet rim. Medium (+) intensity on the nose with aromas of cranberry, blueberry and black cherry. Stony minerality and some sweet vanilla (from the oak)
On the palate the wine is dry with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) tannins and medium (+) alcohol. Body and fruit intensity are also medium(+) and the wine seems very well balanced with all these terms. Here flavor characteristics of black plums, blackberry and black cherry on the fruit scale. Again a nice black stony minerality and a little oak in the background – well integrated. A very good wine with medium (+) length where the fruit flavors keep on rolling in good balance with the tannin grip. Rating:  93 point of 100.

These 2 wines give me good hope for a nice trip to Spain in a few weeks.