New Customers Save $20 off $100+* with code AUGUSTNEW
New Customers Save $20* with code AUGUSTNEW
*For new customers only. Order must be placed by 8/31/2017. The $20 discount is given for a single order of $100 or more excluding shipping and tax. Some exclusions may apply. Promotion code does not apply to certain Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, gift certificates, fine and rare wine and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. Promotion does not apply to corporate orders. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order. Not valid on Bordeaux Futures.
An increasingly popular source of high-quality bold red wines...
An increasingly popular source of high-quality bold red wines, the Ribera del Duero region of north-central Spain has begun to rival neighboring Rioja as one of the country’s best in its category. Set at high elevation in the valley above the Duero River (which continues east into Portugal where it is known as the Douro), it has a relatively short growing season, posing a risk of spring frost. Temperatures vary wildly between day and night as well as throughout the year, making this a relatively high-risk viticultural region. Nevertheless, since the 1980s, after a long lull in relevance, Ribera del Duero has experienced a surge in popularity as winemakers from throughout the world have recognized its high potential.
Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto Fino, is the primary variety, often vinified on its own. Here, it takes on a more robust persona than in Rioja, with deep color, structured tannins, and a healthy dose of acidity. It has all of the necessary qualities to create balanced wines, but is occasionally blended with international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec. A small amount of rosé is made from Garnacha. White wine is uncommon here and typically reserved for local consumption, and can only be made from the aromatic Albillo grape.
Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity...
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.