Ever Wondered about Ribero del Duero, Wonder No More

Some Famous Ribero Producers

Some Famous Ribero Producers

So you’ve all heard of Rioja by now, but what about her kissing cousin the Ribero del Duero? Lucky for you I am one to kiss and tell. Rioja has emerged as Tempranillo’s marketing agent extraordinaire. Though, to the northwest, in Ribera del Duero, 1/3rd the size of Rioja, a long awaited story is finally being told. While attending a recent seminar & tasting of these historic wines I was inspired to share their story with you.

Ribera del Duero is known for Tinto (Red) & Rosado (Rose’) all from the Tempranillo grape. The DO (Domain of Origin – designation) here was established in 1982, though winemaking in this region reaches back to the mid-1800’s. Established producers like Tinto Pesquera, Pingus, Vina Sastre & the unorthodox Vega Sicilia all claim deep reaching roots in this DO, literally.

In Burgos, in the heart of this DO, expect beautifully integrated, high acid reds that express the more austere side of this food-friendly vinefera. the small production 2011 “Mibal” by Hornillos Ballesteros shows deep cherry tones & eucalyptus while 2008 Tinto Paesquera to the west expresses a more masculine tone of cedar & plum. Unknown-1

Then there is Soria, to the east. A region which caught my attention. Heret is a story of a terroir that hosts 100-125 year old pre-phylloxera root stock & un-grafted vines. Veterans that sit watchfully & tell stories which few can fathom. Stories which unfold ethereally on the palate. Two were well represented. First was the 2010 Antidoto, rusty brown & deep with woodland strawberries and mint tones that reflect 100yr old root-stock that pull from an uncommon place. The second, bigger & bolder, was the 2009 “Valdegatiles” by Atauta whose focus is letting you know it has aged for 16months in french oak with its baked fruit aromas & 125 year old lineage.

I linger writing this looking for a proper closing line. I look over my notes & see stars and side notations that just say “persue”.