Dominio de Atauta 2008
Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
#88 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
Intense cherry color. The nose is elegant and complex with a fine cocoa and fruit expression. Very tasty, powerful, full, and meaty with a smoky aftertaste. Dry but ripe tannins.
Wine Spectator - "Exuberant flavors of currant, blackberry, cola and licorice mingle in this racy red, which has light, firm tannins and vibrant acidity, with plenty of fruit to balance the evident oak. A lively modern style."
Wine Enthusiast - "Even in marginal vintages like 2008, Atauta manages to shine above the rest. This delivers a gorgeous mix of blackberry blended with complex notes of fine herbs, vanilla and chocolate. It’s alert in the mouth, with strong but manageable tannins and full flavors of berry, cherry and vanilla."
The Wine Advocate - "The entry-level offering is the 2008 Dominio de Atauta, aged in 40% new French oak for 18 months before bottling without filtration (as are each of these wines). It delivers an inviting nose of earthy minerality, wood smoke, and blackberry leading to an elegant expression of Tinto Fino with impressive depth and concentration. It can be approached now but will evolve for several years.
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Dominio de Atauta Winery
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About Ribera del Duero(rib-EHR-ah del dwehr-oh)
Notable FactsThe wines of Ribera del Duero are mainly red – white wines here are not exported or revered. The reds come primarily from a variation of Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino or Tinto del Pais in this region. Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon are also used, but not so often. The best wines of the area are refreshing yet sturdy and complex, with an ability to age and mature gracefully.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.