Pago de Carraovejas Crianza 2012
Blend: 91% Tempranillo, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot
In 1987 José María Ruiz leads a group of wine loving Segovians and together they conceive the idea of creating a winery in a region that can produce good reds. Three reasons made them choose the hillsides of Carraovejas, in Peñafiel. First, Peñafiel has been historically, the hub of the Ribera del Duero wine making region, and the area with more potential of all the Spanish wine making regions. Second, its proximity to Segovia. And third and probably the most important reason, because the elders of the village remembered the hillsides of Carraovejas as the best grape ripening site, as later confirmed by numerous studies.
Naturally, choosing the right location, land and climate was essential. Three kilometers outside Peñafiel, in the sunny enclave formed by the valleys of the Botijas River, a tributary of the Duero River – only four kilometers apart – the land enjoys a microclimate created by the sweetening influence of the Duero River, the dominant west winds that keep the vines healthy and the south facing aspect of the softly rolling hillsides, sheltered from the damaging effects of the north wind and devastation from the spring frosts and autumn freezes. The perfect conditions for a thriving vineyard: sun and air.
They had found the place and it was Carraovejas. All they had to add was a component of quality and technological edge to optimize the already favorable conditions the area offered. This formula allowed them to make the first Ribera del Duero wine containing 25 % of Cabernet Sauvignon at a time the Tinto Fino grape ruled absolute. They were also pioneers in bringing French oak barrels to the Ribera del Duero and to install drip irrigation in the estate, a system that provides the exact amount of water to the vines in a rational and specific manner, improving the quality of the red grape allocated for crianzas and reservas.
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, 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.