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Bodegas Diaz Bayo Crianza 2014
In the 16th century 160,000 liters of wine were already being produced, as the population had now tripled. The population had grown in excess of 1,000 inhabitants by the end of the 18th century, with more than 52% of the land dedicated to vines, in turn producing one million liters of wine annually.
The 20th century brought with it technical and entrepreneurial transformations, but by 1910 phylloxera had also arrived, virtually devastating all the vineyards and therefore causing a great exodus. The genesis of a viticultural revolution was also now afoot, both in the vineyards, as well in the vinification process.
For more than ten generations, the Díaz Bayo family have dedicated themselves to the cultivation of vines and wine production in the Ribera del Duero. Until about 40 years ago, winemaking was undertaken in 'lagares', a traditional stone press, where the grapes were deposited for pressing. The resulting must would then be deposited in wood barrels located in the subterranean cellar, where constant temperatures allow the wine to develop its distinct, regional character.
Despite the high concentration of parcels in Fuentelcésped, the vine-stocks that produce the best vines and the best grapes are selected for new vineyard plantings.
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.
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.
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.
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.