To celebrate the resurrection of my wine fridge, I pulled a chair into the garage, set a wine glass atop a saw horse and opened this lovely bottle from the Ribera del Duero.
I should have decanted it. Just look at the residue atop the label! But I couldn’t wait. I’m a big believed in “matching wine with mood” and my mood was exultant and thirsty.
The wine was a deep, deep purple. Almost black. With just a slight halo of red at the edge of the glass. The opacity surprised me for a Tempranillo.
For a wine that had slumbered for nearly a decade, the molecules escaping out of the glass smelled emphatically like blackberry pie and jasmine.
Acidity was also still lively. My only complaint – and a small grouse it is – is that my tongue and nose would have liked a bit more fruit to balance the tannins, acidity and oak.
- The Ribera del Duero region is in northern Spain, a few hours’ drive due north from Madrid. Valladolid is the biggest city in the area.
- Red wines from the RdD are made with “Tinto Fino” (the local name for Tempranillo).
- Tempranillo wines are usually dark red, or garnet. Its usual aroma & flavor profile includes cherry, plum, tobacco, leather and cedar – rather like a Chianti.
- I learned online that this particular wine was 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon – so that explains the color and the darker-tasting fruits.
- This wine was also aged for 20 months in French oak – which explains the oakiness that gave me a bit of “pie crust” and cedar action.
- Peter Sisseck was the consultant winemaker for this wine – and he has a reputation for producing big wines that critics like Robert Parker love. He’s also directly involved in Dominio de Pingus, one of the top winemakers in Spain.