ABOUT RIBERA DEL DUERO
Ribera del Duero is located high in the hills of northwestern Spain, about two hours north of Madrid. The quiet and peaceful river valley Is rich in history, tradition, but most significantly, wine.
Ribera del Duero is one of twelve regions in Castilla y León to earn the Denominación de Origen (DO) title and is home to some of Spain's oldest vineyards. Winemakers like Bodegas Vega Sicilia have been producing world-renowned red wines since the mid-1900s. However, the region's rich history goes back much further. Archeological evidence suggests that fine wine has been produced and exported along the Rio Duero for over 2000 years.
Red wines from Ribera del Duero are among the finest in all of Spain, with certain batches being the exclusive choice for royal events.
Upon first glance, the sprawling rocky flats and extreme climate found in Ribera del Duero may seem less than ideal for the production of fine wine. However, the grapes in the area flourish in the arid climate. Thanks to the natural drainage provided by the region's rough soil, Tempranillo grapes (locally known as Tinto Fino or Tinta del Pais) in particular thrive in Ribera del Duero.
The complex tannin structure of tempranillo grapes causes Ribera del Duero wines to take on a rich, dark, and nearly opaque color that's accompanied by complex dark fruit notes, both on the taste and the nose.
Though the vast majority of wines produced in the Ribera del Duero region are made 100 percent from tempranillo grapes, a wine only needs to consist of 75 percent tempranillo to be considered DO. This flexibility allows for many interesting and complex blends with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Garnacha, and Albillo grapes.
Ribera del Duero wines typically fall into one of five categories depending on the amount of time the batch spends aging.
Joven - Spanish for young. Joven wines are not permitted to age for longer than 12 months.
Barrica - Typically, these wines are aged in oak barrels for no more than four months.
Crianza - For a wine to be considered a Crianza, it must age for at least twelve months in oak barrels and must wait 24 months before being released.
Reserva - Reservas are required to age for 36 months, 12 of which must be spent in oak barrels.
Gran Reserva - Gran Reservas are the oldest and often most sought-after wines from Ribera del Duero. These batches must age for 60 months, with a minimum of 24 months in oak barrels before being released.
The best Ribera del Duero wines are full-bodied, dark, and nearly black in color. The aroma is typically very complex, with notes of plum, fig, cherry, and charred oak (depending on how long the batch was aged).
The mouth is soft and pleasant, but the overall structure is intense with sweet tannins. Riberas tend to have a long, persistent finish with a significant black ripe fruit presence. The complex structure of this wine gives it promising potential for wine enthusiasts looking to age a bottle further.
FAQS ABOUT RIBERA DEL DUERO WINES
What is Ribera del Duero Wine Like?
Ribera del Duero wines are smooth, full-bodied, and aromatic with notes of spices, minerals, and dark fruits.
Where does Ribera del Duero Wine Come From?
Ribera del Duero wines come from the region of Ribera del Duero, located on the Duero River in the northwestern part of Spain.
Is Ribera del Duero Wine Sweet or Dry?
High-quality Ribera del Dueros are considered dry wines as they usually have less residual sugar following the fermentation process.