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Bodegas Barco de Piedra Tempranillo 2013

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • WW90
13.5% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • RP87
  • WE87
  • RP90
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3.5 6 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Barco de Piedra is an affirmation of the beauty and purity of the Tempranillo grape as it is grown in Ribera del Duero. The grape's thick skin naturally produces powerful, robust wines packed with flavor. Adding more power and oak to something already powerful is overkill. Raspberry and violet aromas with rose petal, blueberry and mineral notes make this wine. Barco de Piedra is one of the prettiest examples of the elegance and structure of Ribera del Duero, one of the great wine regions of the world.

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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WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
One of the grand questions about Tempranillo is how far can producers go with their oak treatment and still keep the varietal's integrity? The 2013 Barco de Piedra does a really fine job here. Yes, one does feel the wood, but the area's earth, dust and fruit still come through gloriously. Medium ruby color; red fruit and savory, grey herbs, quite good, medium depth; medium bodied, just a bit layered on the palate; earth and dust run through the flavors, very regional; medium to long finish, fairly robust in the aftertaste. (Tasted: June 17, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
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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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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 spices, dark fruit and smoky flavors of Ribera del Duero wines pair well with roast meats, BBQ and anything off the grill.

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.

MSKSBP003_2013 Item# 137979