Bodegas y Vinedos Pintia 2004
"Saturated ruby. Intensely perfumed, expansive aromas of dark berries, kirsch, oak spices and mocha, with a suave mineral undercurrent. Rich, focused dark berry and cherry flavors are framed by strong but harmonious tannins and complicated by notes of dark chocolate, candied violet and vanilla bean. Lush and sweet on the impressively sappy, long finish. Although I'm confident that this will age well, it's mighty delicious now."
-International Wine Cellar
Toro is located further along the Duero river from Vega Sicilia, in hotter, wilder territory as one approaches the Portuguese border (after which, the Duero becomes the famous Douro of Port fame). Altitudes are slightly lower than in the Ribera del Duero, making for very hot days, but 500-700m altitudes stil mean big day-night temperature changes, so acidity and fruit are preserved.
The grape here is 100% Tinta de Toro, a thick-skinned local clone of Tempranillo. The Vega team carefully vinify the wine to extract only the finest tannins and maintain aromatic purity, and age one year in the highest quality French and American oak barrels. Pintia displays the style and class (elegance, even !) of a Vega Sicilia Group wine, but with the extra spicy, forceful presence of a Toro. Early critical reaction has been ecstatic, and pricing remains eminently reasonable for a wine of this quality.
Ribera del Duero, Spanish wine region, 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, long-lasting and Spain’s most widely planted grape, Tempranillo is the star variety of red wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Rioja terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate both barrel and bottle time before release. Traditionally blended in Rioja with Garnacha, plus a bit of Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, the Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero typically stands alone. Somm Secret—Tempranillo claims many different names depending on location. In Penedès, it is called Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Known as Tinta Roriz in Portugal, Tempranillo plays an important role in Port wine.