Abadia Retuerta Cuvee El Campanario 1997
-The Wine Advocate
The Abadía Retuerta Estate occupies over 700 hectares of terrain, and its name comes from the combination of two words that define and describe the territory: Rívula (river bank) and Torta (twisting, winding). Over 204 hectares of vineyards are spread out on hillsides ranging in altitude from a maximum 850 metres down to the southern bank of the Duero River. Most of the world's best varieties of soil are represented.
Designed by famous French enologist, Pascal Delbeck, in 1996, Abadía Retuerta winery is a surprising combination of tradition and modernity, recognized as one of the most advanced wineries in Europe. Currently, Angel Anocíbar Beloqui (PhD in Enology and Ampelography from the University of Bordeaux and International Wine Challenge 2005 Winemaker of the Year) coordinates the entire process, from the vine to the bottle.
Abadía Retuerta estate wines offer some very unique characteristics. They are full-colored wines, intense and aromatically clean, clearly structured, smooth to the palate and delicate in the development of their strength.
Ribera del Duero is located in northen Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive from Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back more than 2000 years, it was in the 1980s that 9 wineries applied for and were granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 300 wineries call Ribera del Duero home, including some of Spain’s most iconic names.
Notable Facts Ribera’s main grape variety, Tempranillo, locally know as Tinto Fino, is perfectly suited to the extreme climate of the region, where it must survive scorching summers and frigid winters. Low yields resulting from conscientious tending to old vines planted in Ribera’s diverse soils types, give Ribera wines a distinctive depth and complexity not found in other Tempranillos. Rich and full-bodied, the spice, dark fruit and smoky flavors in a bold Ribera del Duero will pair well with roasted and grilled meats, Mexican food and tomato-based sauces.
Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.
In the Glass
Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.
Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella.
The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.