Ribera del Duero Wine Region
Where is Ribera del Duero located?
Ribera del Duero is a wine region located in the north-central part of Spain, specifically in the provinces of Burgos, Valladolid, and Segovia. The region is known for producing high-quality red wines made primarily from the Tempranillo grape.
These wines are known for their rich, full-bodied flavour and high alcohol content, and are often aged for several years in oak barrels. Some of the most well-known wineries in Ribera del Duero include Vega Sicilia, Pingus, and Protos.
Key Facts about Ribera del Duero:
There are some fun facts about Ribera del Duero that you should know about:
- The region is named after the Duero River, which runs through it and provides the ideal climate for grape growing. Ribera del Duero is one of the youngest wine regions in Spain, only gaining recognition in the 1970s.
- The region was first established as a wine-producing area by a group of visionary winemakers who sought to create a new style of wine that would rival the best in the world.
- Ribera del Duero bottles have a high alcohol content, typically around 14%, and are known for their deep red colour and robust, full-bodied flavour.
- The region is home to over 200 wineries, many of which offer tours and tastings. The region was first established as a wine-producing area by a group of visionary winemakers who sought to create a new style of wine that would rival the best in the world.
- Ribera del Duero was awarded the prestigious Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) status in 1982, the highest classification for Spanish wines, in recognition of the region's quality and reputation.
- The Ribera del Duero region is also home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world, some dating back to Roman times.
There are different grape varieties that are grown in the denomination of origin Ribera del Duero:
- Tempranillo or Tinta del Pais: The most important grape variety grown in the Ribera del Duero region is Tempranillo, or also known in Ribera del Duero as Tinta del Pais. This grape is used to produce the majority of bottles from the region and is known for its rich, full-bodied flavour and high alcohol content.
- Wine made from Tempranillo grapes grown in Ribera del Duero is known for their high tannin, acidity and ability to age for long periods. The wines are commonly aged in oak barrels which impart vanilla, spice and toast notes to the wine.
- Garnacha: Garnacha (also known as Grenache in other regions) is a red grape variety. It is known for producing reds with high alcohol content, ripe fruit flavours, and moderate acidity. Garnacha grapes are often blended with other grape varieties, such as Tempranillo, to create full-bodied and flavorful wines. Some Garnacha wines are aged in oak barrels and can take on flavours of vanilla and spice.
- Graciano: Graciano is a red grape variety. It is known for its deep colour and intense fruit flavours, as well as its high acidity and tannins. Graciano is often blended with other grape varieties, such as Tempranillo and Garnacha, to create complex and structured red bottles.
- It's a less common grape in the region and used mostly for blending, but some wineries are producing wines 100% Graciano. Because of its small berries and low yield, it is considered a challenging grape to grow.
- Mazuelo: Mazuelo is a red grape variety. It's also known as "Cariñena" in Catalonia, where it's widely planted. It is known for producing bottles with high tannins, dark colours and flavours of black fruits, leather and spices. Mazuelo grapes are often blended with other grape varieties, such as Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, to create full-bodied and complex reds.
- Merlot: Red grape variety widely used in Ribera del Duero. Some wineries started experimenting with Merlot to create unique and more approachable wines. Merlot grapes can bring softer tannins and a more approachable style of wine that can complement the bold and tannic reds made from Tempranillo.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon grapes can bring more structured tannins and a more elegant style of wine that can complement the bold and tannic bottles made from Tempranillo.
- Albillo: Albillo is a white grape variety. It is known for producing bottles with high acidity and minerality and flavours of citrus and stone fruit. Albillo is often blended with other grape varieties, such as Verdejo and Viura, to create unique and complex whites.
Top Ribera del Duero Wines
Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5: Vega Sicilia wines are quite rare and highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs, and are considered as some of the finest wines in the world. They are also known for their great aging potential.
Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 is a red wine made of a blend of Merlot and Tinto Fino and it has aged for 5 years between wood and bottle. It presents a great length of aromatic richness. It can be preserved until the year 2046.
Protos Roble 2019: Red wine made of Tinta del País by Bodegas Protos, one of the most important wineries from the region. It presents aromas of black fruit, cocoa and ripe notes. On the palate, it is expressive with freshness and vitality.
Hispania de Territorio Luthier 2018: Excellent red wine produced by Territorio Luthier winery in Aranda del Duero. It is made of Tempranillo grapes that come from vineyards over 70 years old.
It presents fruity, floral notes and balsamic notes on the nose. On the palate, it is structured and balanced.
Pinna Fidelis Condominio Joven: Young red wine produced by Pinna Fidelis winery made of Tempranillo grapes.
Valduero Reserva Premium 2012: Great red produced by Bodegas Valduero. It is made 100% from Tempranillo grapes.
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