Tonight we join the folks at Snooth for their virtual Ribera del Duero tasting at 7:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 p.m. Pacific). Ribera del Duero is part of the Duero River Valley and Castilla y León (kasˈtiʎa i leˈon), the old seat of Spanish nobility when the Moors still controlled the southern portion of the country. Castilla y León is the largest of Spain’s wine regions, with some of Spain’s oldest and most beautiful architecture.
Named wine region of the year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the Ribera del Duero is a Denominación de Origen (DO) located in Spain’s northern plateau and is one of Castilla y León’s quality wine regions. Officially founded on July 21, 1982 by an organization of wine producers and growers who were determined to promote the quality of their wines and enforce regulatory standards, archeological evidence indicates Ribera del Duero winemaking goes to over 2,000 years to the Roman era.
In the 12th Century Benedictine monks spurred a revival in local winemaking, and wine became an essential part of Ribera’s cultural and economic trade and development in the 15th Century, resulting in the first quality regulations, the “Ordinances of Castilla y León.” Highly regarded for export at the height of the Spanish Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries, Ribera wines gained greater acclaim with the founding of Bodega Vega Sicilia in 1864 by Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves.
Located high in the mountains, Ribera del Duero is often cold. Warm during the day, and cold at night, the region offers the perfect environment for Tinto Fino, the region’s version of Tempranillo. The short growing season can result in hard tannins lending to some abrasive young wines as well as those with great cellar potential.
In Ribera del Duero, Crianzas must spend a minimum 12 months in small barrels — no larger than 225 litres (the size you typically see used as table bases in tasting rooms) compared to other areas in Spain where barrels can be as large as 1,000 litres.
These are usually medium-bodied wines that go especially well with smoked or grilled meats.
Tonight we will taste along with two of Snooth’s four wines. Our selections include
– Bodegas Montebaco Tempranillo Blend Ribera del Duero Semele Crianza 2010
– Bodegas y Vinedos Montecastro Alconte 2009
Join us on Snooth, here, as we post our thoughts on these wines!
To read about other Tempranillos we haves tasted see