Finca Villacreces Pruno 2010
Other Red Blends from Ribera del Duero, Spain
The Wine Advocate - "Wow! From a vineyard adjacent to Spain’s greatest as well as most expensive red wine, Vega Sicilia, this 2,500-case cuvee made for Eric Solomon is spectacular. Full-bodied with an opaque purple color in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of charcoal, wood smoke, creme de cassis and blackberries intermixed with hints of acacia flowers and licorice, this stunning, multidimensional 2010 is loaded. Its texture, richness, complexity, purity and length result in a wine that considerably over-delivers. Normally, one would expect to pay $75 to $150 for a wine that tastes like this, but this beauty can be yours for $20 or less! Moreover, it will keep for a decade."
Finca Villacreces Winery
One of the most sought-after pieces of land in Ribera del Duero, the estate of Villacreces sits next to Vega Sicilia, perhaps (historically) the most famous property in the region. There is written evidence that the first vines were planted on the estate in the 13th Century. During the 14th Century, it was run by Saint Pedro de Villacreces and, later on, with its perfect conditions for prayer and retreat, it became a monastery. In the 20th Century, the property belonged to a wealthy aristocratic family from Valladolid, who used to spend their holidays and weekends there. In the early 1970s, 100 acres of vineyard were planted, which has now been increased to 150. Including a 200-year-old forest, the estate comprises a total of 285 acres.
In 2003, the Anton family - owners of a Rioja bodega and one of Spain’s most famous Michelin starred restaurants in the Basque country – purchased the estate and invested in revitalizing both the estate and the vineyards. The property is situated at 2,300 feet above sea level on poor soils comprised of lime, gravel, sand and quartz which naturally keep yields low (the estate averages 1.6 tons per acre). The proximity to the Duero river helps protect the vines from and reduce the effects of the frosts that are common in the Ribera del Duero. View all Finca Villacreces Wines
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 & 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.