The wines of Ribera del Duero of Spain!

As far as fame, this is the second best known area of Spain for wine aficionados. This counts me in as well. I have written on the other regions of my beloved Spain where wine is coming up in quality over the last few years. This time will tell you a bit overall introduction to the wines of Ribera del Duero. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Ribera del Duero located in the autonomous community of Castilla y Léon, which has an DO (Denominación de Origen ). Its vineyard, in the area of ​​the Upper Duero Valley, brings together many towns in the provinces of Burgos, Valladolid, Soria and Segovia with a long tradition of wine production. The appellation of origin was approved in 1982. It is located 150 km north of Madrid, and its hillsides extend over 700 meters above sea level over 100 km on either side of the Duero River. With 22,000 hectares, the denominación de origen Ribera del Duero has less than 200 bodegas/wineries.

The DO of Ribera del Duero includes these areas and best producers me think, Burgos: Condado de Haza ,Santa Eulalia, and Ismael Arroyo, Valladolid: Bodegas Vega Sicilia ,Castillo de Peñafiel, Emilio Moro ,Matarromera ,Tinto Pesquera, and Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez. Soria: Valdeviñas, and Segovia: Aldekoa, Some of the best known wine towns are: Pesquera de Duero, Quintanilla de Onésimo, Roa, Valbuena de Duero, Sotillo de la Ribera, Aranda de Duero, Peñafiel, and Haza. 

The wines of Ribera del Duero are mainly red wines, vinified from the Tempranillo grape, locally called Tinto Fino. The appellation also authorizes the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, mainly intended to enhance the Tempranillo in blends.The Garnacha grape is most often used to make the rosés of Ribera del Duero, To be eligible for the appellation, a red wine from Ribera del Duero must contain at least 75% Tempranillo and 95% Tempranillo + Cabernet Sauvignon + Malbec + Merlot. The harvest period in Ribera del Duero is usually between the months of September and October. However, it is the Regulatory Council that determines when it starts and ends.

Ribera del Duero wines are offered under four different formulas: young red, crianza red, reserva red and gran reserva red. The red crianza is aged for no less than 24 months, at least half of that time in oak barrels. Its color is from cherry red to cherry red with certain shades of violet tones , it develop more complex aromas of spices, vanilla and toast. The reserve red is seen with the naked eye with a cherry red hue, and depending on its degree of maturity, it also has a ruby ​​tone. Maturation time, at least 36 months, 24 of them in barrels of the same traditional type of wood. They release tertiary aromas of candied fruit and leather, The Gran Reserva is a wine of great excellence with 60 months of maturation process of which at least two years must be in oak barrels. Its natural color at the end of that process is a distinctive cherry red. They are very elegant and reveal exceptional aromatic complexity. And appreciated and highly sought after.

As a general guide, the rating of the last few years show that in 2016 MB muy buena/very good : 2017 MB muy buena, 2018 MB muy buena, 2019 Excelente/Excellent ; 2020 Excellent.

Consejo Regulador, or regultating council of Ribera del Duero DO

The wine route of Ribera del Duero

Of course, I won’t just leave you with the technical stuff. Let me tell you some of recent favorites from Ribera del Duero!

The biggest surprise was  Bodegas Félix Solis; Altos de Tamaron Reserva 2006 Ribera del Duero. Cherry red color with medium layer ocher trim. Very clean and bright. Complex and elegant aroma, with marked mineral notes and other very suggestive aromas. In the mouth it is powerful, broad and with great harmony. Red meat, bush hunting, cured cheeses and lamb stews. The cost here was 12.50€. webpage:

ribera del duero altos de tamaron 2009

Bodegas Tarsus is a Bordeaux castle-style cellar, located in the heart of the Ribera del Duero where it produces wines with deep aromas, highly concentrated and offering great aging potential. The Bodegas Tarsus are located in Anguix (Burgos) with 70 hectares of its own vineyard where it grows the Tinta del País (ie tempranillo similar) ,and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. It was founded in 1998. The name of the winery derives from Tarsus, an ancient city of Cilicia, in Asia Minor, cradle of the wine civilization and where vines have been planted for more than 6,000 years. Currently, the Tarsus reserva  is made with grapes 98% Tinta del País, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been produced from 25 to 30 days at a temperature between 28º-30º and is aged for 16 months in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels, mostly new. Complete the aging with a year and a half of rest in the bottle. Delicious ,you just need let it aged as I recommend. Webpage:

Ribera del duero Tarsus 1999

There you go folks, hoping you get a taste of Ribera del Duero wines at least in your next visit to Spain. However, they are available in several countries including France. Hope you enjoy the post as I, I say.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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