Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez keeps rolling along turning out a surprisingly large amount of wine from Ribera del Duero, all of it produced from Tempranillo, while maintaining a high level of quality. In 1999 Alejandro Fernandez discovered a parcel of old, head-pruned Tempranillo in the historic windmill village of Campo de Criptana in La Mancha. Not generally considered a source of high quality grapes because of extreme summer heat, Fernandez has demonstrated that careful farming can overcome serious obstacles. The grapes for these two wines were harvested in the first two weeks of August, as hard as that is to believe once you have tasted the results."
Pesquera Ribera del Duero Tinto 2008
Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
100% Tempranillo from gravel benchland and calcareous clay meseta (high elevation) vineyards between 20 and 40 years of age. An elegant middleweight vintage with pure fruit expression and minerality, good length and excellent structure for aging. Unmistakable 'Pesquera bouquet.'
The Wine Advocate - "The dark ruby-colored 2008 Tinto Pesquera exhibits an inviting nose of cedar, spice box, mineral, violets, and blackberry. This is followed by a ripe, racy, nicely proportioned style of Tempranillo with excellent concentration and length. Give it 2-3 years to fully blossom and drink it from 2013 to 2023.
Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Winery
Original bodega founded in 1972. A living icon of modern Spanish wine, Alejandro Fernández was one of the first in his country to return to biodynamic, low yield viticulture in order to produce concentrated oak-aged red wines capable of extended bottle aging. Currently under vine are 500 acres, almost exclusively Tempranillo, in a range of soil types including a locally-rare gravel deposit. Following development of new wine estates in the 1990's current vintages are of unprecedented quality. The 'Master of the Tempranillo', now at the peak of his career. View all Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Wines
About Ribera del DueroView a map of Ribera del Duero wineries (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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.