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Bodegas Barco de Piedra Tempranillo 2011

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • RP91
13.5% ABV
  • WW90
  • RP90
  • WE87
  • RP87
  • RP90
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2.4 6 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Organic viticulture; minimal oak ageing; a Ribera del Duero wine that shows depth and drinkability while young; an extraordinary value!

Pork and veal have an essentially sweet "bass note" that is complimented nicely by Tempranillo's sweet nature, so these meats pair extremely well with Barco de Piedra. Unlike most Riojas, which tend toward softer strawberry and red fruits, Ribera del Dueros are some of the most robust reds from Spain, usually showing a black fruit, mineral and "meaty" character that many people feel is a better match with beef steak than any California Cabernet or Zinfandel. For simple fare, aged hard cheese like manchego, jamon iberico, Spanish almonds, Sevilla olives and crusty bread are exceptional accompaniments for this wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A sensational value from Ribera del Duero (which rarely produces interesting wines for under $25), the 2011 Barco de Piedra is 100% Tempranillo aged five months in a combination of French and American oak (85% and 15% respectively), all three-year-old used barrels. It exhibits notes of flowers, licorice, new saddle leather, black currants and cherries.
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Bodegas Barco de Piedra

Bodegas Barco de Piedra

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Bodegas Barco de Piedra, Ribera del Duero, Spain
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Barco de Piedra is a joyous affirmation of the beauty and purity of the Tempranillo grape as it is grown in the Ribera del Duero DO. The noble Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino or Tinta del Pais by locals, has suffered from producers who like to use excessive “make up,” too much new oak or winemaking technique, which obscures the identity of the grape. The logic behind Barco de Piedra is simple: the Tempranillo grape grown in Ribera del Duero has plenty of tannins, you don’t need to add more, which is precisely what oak ageing will do. The grape’s thick skin naturally produces powerful, robust wines packed with flavor. Adding more power and oak to something already powerful is overkill. The climate conditions of cool nights, low rainfall and great old vines taken together produce small berries with a high skin-to-juice ratio. The three parcels that produce grapes for Barco de Piedra are located on the hillside of the Quiñón Estate, a location with a special equilibrium of temperature, drainage and soil type. Raspberry and violet aromas with rose petal, blueberry and mineral notes make this wine one of the prettiest examples of the elegance and structure of Ribera del Duero, one of the great wine regions of the world.

Ribera del Duero

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As a one of Spain’s leading regions, Ribera del Duero is an icon of growth and innovation whereas its brother, Rioja, represents tradition. While winemaking goes back 2,000 years, only in the 1980s did a small handful of—now iconic—wineries make the region’s potential known to the discerning consumer.

In 1982 a mere nine producers of Ribera del Duero grouped together to achieve the Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Ever since then the region has boomed and today over 300 wineries exist.

Bodegas vega sicilia is on the western edge of the denomination and has been producing one of Spain's finest wines since the mid 19th century. Other iconic producers include Pesquera and Dominio de Pingus.

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 soil types give Ribera wines a distinctive depth and complexity. Furthermore, the D.O. laws allow for blending of Tinto Fino with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, a concept introduced by Vega Sicilia 130 years ago. Ribera del Duero red wines have characteristics of dried fig and sweet tomato, cherry and plum with spices of cedar, clove, tobacco, dill, vanilla and leather. A bold structure and smoky aromas make them perfect with anything off the grill, roasted meats and aged cheeses.

Albillo is the white grape of the area and Garnacha produces the region’s rosé.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

CNC682082_2011 Item# 121088