Autumn Wine Choice 2016 – one to savour!
With a new contact and friend, resident in Catalonia I am being educated in the fine wines of Spain without being drawn exclusively to the celebrated wines of the Rioja. Availability of some of my favourite wines in this category amongst my regular suppliers in E. Scotland remains a challenge. This said I am not one to be beaten and find that my local supermarket and the ever-reliable Majestic has a fine Ribera!
Ribera del Duero was rewarded the accolade of Wine Region of the Year in 2012 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. The vineyards are located in Spain’s northern plateau on the course of the Duero river. Wine has been produced here for over 200 years, however the Denominacion de Origen (D.O.) of Ribera del Duero was first awarded in 1982. I must say that I find it particularly encouraging to see that fine wines from these less well-known localities are being imported to the UK so that wine lovers over here can enjoy them.
Wines produced in this region are almost exclusively made from red grapes and they are almost entirely made from the Tempranillo (locally known as Tinto Fino) grape. When choosing Ribera del Duero wines it may be helpful to understand the ageing requirements set out by statute:
Wines labelled Crianza must age two years with 12 months in oak. Reserva wines must be aged at least three years with at least 12 months in oak. The Gran Reserva wines labelled wines must spend five years aging of which 2 years being in oak. My own recommendation is a Reserva from the producer Pagos del Rey and the wine maker is Alberto Viyuela. It is a full-bodied rich wine just as well suited to be drunk on its own or with a meal of perhaps roast lamb or delightful Spanish cured hams. Initial aromas of ripe plum and spice are accompanied by a palate of fruit and light vanilla.