suggestions from ribero del duero?
My wine group is doing a series of tastings of Spanish wines, and I'd like to do a session on Ribero del Duero. My group (and I as well) lean heavily toward traditional wines rather than big/modern/extracted stuff. We had some great wines during the Rioja sessions (Lopez Heredia, etc.). I'll be getting a decently old Vega Sicilia, and probably a Pesquera, but feel trepidation over much of the rest. Are they all monster-truck wines in RdD? Suggestions for producers? I have no problem with earthy wines, just want to avoid too many head-ache-in-a-glass ones if I can. Thanks in advance
I highly recommend calling John Majeski at K&L Wines in San Francisco.
I put the same question to him last month and he served up a half case of traditional-style RdDs that were reasonable alcohol (12.5%), restrained oak and un-Parkerized in style. Viintages went from 2007 (2007 Federico Tinto Roble Ribera del Duero) to 1998s. And all were $15-35.
5 of 6 were outstanding values, outstanding wines. You know... the dusty, leathery, restrained fruity, all around yummy wines we knew in the mid-90s.
I, too, am a died-in-the wool traditionalist, and other than Vega Siccilia, of course, the other producer you should be aware of is Valduero. Pesquera has been in the American market longer, is probably more well-known, and they make good wines, but in the traditionalist camp, I think Valduero is second only to Vega Sicilia.
Their Gran Reservas (6 Años and 12 Años) are nearly impossible to find, but awesome. The reserva is also excellent, more modestly-priced, and easier to obtain.
It depends upon the purpose for your tasting. Vega Sicilia Unico and Seleccion Especial are singular wines with no relationship to the region. Also, since Javier Ausas has taken over for Mariano Garcia the wines have changed (Not for the better or worse just changed). If you want to introduce your group to the whole of RdD then you should include a Joven (no oaked wine) a Roble or Semi-Crianza (some oak aging) and Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines. You should also show the difference between American oak wines like Pesquera and French oak aged wines like Alion (Also from VS). Another interesting step would be to serve the wines with significant Cab Sauv like Pago de Carraovejas and Hacienda Monasterio. It's a shame to proclude the "monster truck" wines like Flor de Pingus or the newly capitalized Emilio Moro but that's your call.