Pesquera Ribera del Duero Tinto 2003
The 1970’s brought the realization of a lifetime dream for a young and determined Alejandro Fernández. Propelled by his conviction that wines of superb quality could once again be made in the place of his birth, he went against the movement of the time, when cereal and beetroot dominated the Riberanhillsides, and planted Tempranillo vineyards in his hometown of Pesquera. In 1982, this iconic winemaking pioneer, who came to be recognized as the “Master of Tempranillo,” was the keystone in forming the now-famous D.O. Ribera del Duero, a designation that Alejandro helped to create with only a few other winemaking pioneers.
?Tinto Pesquera’s200 hectares of vineyards lie near the Duero River at close to 2,400 feet in elevation. The vines grow in poor, well-drained soils, composed of sand and gravel over a limestone and clay subsoil, and are naturally irrigated with water from the nearby Duero River. Tinto Pesquera’s vines are located within the province of Valladolid, in the heart of Ribera del Duero, which has hot summers, incredibly cold winters and extreme diurnal temperature differences that create an ideal combination for producing silky and sumptuous Tempranillo wines. The Tinto Pesquera Crianza is made from estate-grown, 40-year-old vines that produce a limited production of only two kilos per vine.
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 with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.
In the Glass
Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.
Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these 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 naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.