Spain - Castilla y Léon - Ribera del Duero DO

3 important questions on Spain - Castilla y Léon - Ribera del Duero DO

What was the first winery established in Ribera del Duero? By whom and what was so special? Which other significant producers do you know?

  1. Vega Sicilia; late 19th century. Jumped in quality by Alvarez family in 82. International fame. Blend 80% tempranillo with CS, Merlot, Malbec and Albillo.
  2. Change and international fame started with Alejandro Pesquera, modern style Ribera, own production not by a cooperative. The Pétrus of Spain. 100% tinto fino (tempranillo) in American oak.
  3. Pingus; Bordeaux trained Peter Sisseck, cult wine, in new oak only. Best terroirs of Ribera.

Where is Ribera del Duero located and what is the climate and influence on the style of wines?

  • Inland, in the upper valley of the Duero river.
  • Similar climate to Toro and Rueda; hotter summers, colder winters
  • Higher altitudes; 750-1000m
  • Low rainfall but irrigation is allowed
  • Frost problems
  • No white wines (alt. Rueda)
  • 25% old bush vines (50-100years old)
  • Full bodied, blackberry and plum
  • Vanilla and chocolate; new oak, French oak is popular.
  • min 75% tempranillo with CS, Merlot, Malbec, Garnacha and white Albillo for freshness.

What are the categories set by the consejo regulador for Ribera del Duero's ageing?

  • Crianza: most used, 2yrs
  • Reserva: 3 yrs
  • Gran Reserva: rare, 5 yrs

Majority doesn't specify the ageing on the label.

               Total ageing  Time in barrel
Joven     Unoaked or little oaked

Crianza;  2 years           12 months
Reserva: 3 years           12 months
Gran reserva: 5 years  24 months

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