Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bodegas Valduero – Rising Star of Ribera del Duero

The mention of Ribera conjures thoughts of Vega Sicilia, Pingus, Pesquera, Abadia Retuera, Hacienda Monasterio, and Bodegas Alión to Spanish wine fans. Not bad for a region, that thirty years ago, was a infant that now challenges Rioja for Spain’s greatest region. Conceived in 1982 with a handful of winemakers, Ribera now has in excess of 18.000 ha of vines, and over two hundred recognised wineries.

What makes Ribera unique? A combination of three factors; terroir – similar to the Douro with complex mixes of limestone, marl and chalk, a dramatic microclimate with a short and hot growing season along with diurnal temperature variations from 10 to 35 degrees, and a focus on a single grape - Tempranillo  known locally as Tinto Fino or Tinto del Pais.

Bodegas Valduero, founded in 1984, is the child of Gregorio Garcia and his winemaking daughter Yolanda. The property consists of two hundred hectares surrounding the village of Gumiel de Mercado. 

Wines and lunch at Cinara with wine service by Sommelier Terry Threlfall who did a great job with serving all the wines at the perfect temperature.  

Albillo Blanco 2012 $27.99
This rare white varietal is only allowed to be grown at Valduero and Vega Sicilia. Just 2% of all planting are Albillio. Average vine age is twelve years.

Yellow gold with aromas of mineral, citrus, and a hint of herbs. Medium-bodied with a rich leesy texture, great acidity, and flavours of flowers, glace fruit, grapefruit, and a hint of beeswax and mineral. ****

Rosado 2012 $19.99
A blend of 60% Tempranillo (35 to 40 year old vines) and 40% Albillo using the saignee method. 

Paired with spring salmon, sunflower seeds, rye berries, herbs, and citrus vinaigrette - Albillo was the best match.

Medium deep rose colouration with aromas of strawberry leaf. Medium-bodied, dry, refreshing acidity, and back to front wild strawberry and pepper notes.***(*)

2009 Crianza $44.99
100% Tempranillo, 15 months of oak ageing, 1 year of bottle ageing

Ruby red with aromas of herbs, tobacco, and dark black fruits. Medium to full-bodied, good concentration and integrated tannins. Complex flavours of oolong tea, vanilla, leather, and exotic spice. ****

2010 Crianza $44.99
Ruby purple with aromas of blackcurrant, spice, and leather. Full-bodied, youthful, good concentration and structure. Lots of tea, herb, spice, and leather notes. ****

Paired with duck terrine, balsamic roasted radicchio, pine nuts and lentils - 2010 vintage the best match.

Reserva 2007  $59.99
Selected vineyard sites with vines between 15 and 25 years old. 30  months of oak ageing and 18 months of bottle ageing.

Youthful ruby purple with complex aromas of kirsch, mint, and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly styled, and loaded with complex notes of spice, blackberry, menthol, cured tobacco, and red berries. ****(*)

2010 Unacepa $59.99
100% Tempranillo from 55 year old vines. 18 months of oak ageing with 1 year of bottle ageing. ****

Ruby red with cedar, strawberry leaf, and tobacco aromas. Full-bodied and complex with Asian spice, cedar, cherry, briar, and tea notes.

Paired with lamb shoulder, dried olives, potatoes, and red peppers - best match Reserva 2007.
Gran Reserva 2004 $169.99
100% Tempranillo from 50 to 75 year old vines. 48 months of oak ageing ( 6 species) and 40 months bottle ageing.

Dense ruby purple with aromas of soy, leather, cigar,  and smoke. Full-bodied and concentrated with youthful tannins and complex flavours of cherry, black currant, and cedar. ****(*)

2001 Gran Reserva sold out

Ruby purple with a hint of mahogany. Aromas of soy, lead pencil, leather and blackberry. Full-bodied and concentrated, deceptively youthful with ribena, lead pencil, black fruits, herbs, tea, and exotic spice notes. *****
Paired with quince, Port marinated beets, and aged sheep cheese - best match 2001 

Valduero wines are worth seeking out. They offer complexity and good value compared to many Ribera del Duero wines currently available in the BC market.

The wines of Bodegas Valduero are available in selected BCLDB stores, private retailers, and through Direct Wines 

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