100% estate-grown Tempranillo from the Pesquera vineyards in Ribera del Duero, aged 18 months in oak. Beautifully balanced with ripe, rich fruit and smooth, subtle oak; excellent structure and length. Great with steak or hard cheeses.
Tempranillo is a black grape variety widely grown throughout the Iberian peninsula and is considered to be Spain’s best quality grape. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish ‘early’ as it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. Crianza means the wine is aged for at least 2 years before release with 6 months in oak, so this style will have pronounced vanilla and oak spice on the nose and plum and redcurrant character on the palate with firm tannins.
When Robert Parker compared Pesquera to Petrus in the Wine Advocate, he sent the reputation and prices the estates wines rocketing. The soils at the 65-hectare Pesquera estate are planted entirely to Tempranillo and are perfect for producing high-quality fruit. The wines are aged in a blend of American and French oak barrels, with the Crianza aged for at least 18 months and the Reserva and Gran Reserva spending at least 30 months in barrel before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Ribera del Duero was not awarded DO status until 1982. This is despite a long history of winemaking, centered on the leading local producer, Bodegas Vega Sicilia. Its Unico wine is generally regarded as Spain’s greatest wine and is served at royal functions. Today, Ribera del Duero is almost entirely devoted to red wine. Tempranillo is the most widely planted grape variety, known locally either as Tinto Fino or Tinta del Pais. It produces wines which are deeply colored, with a firm tannin structure and complex aromas of dark fruit. Most of the top examples age gracefully for years. According to DO regulations, Tempranillo must make up a minimum of 75 percent of all vinos tintos (red wines). The balance is usually made up mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.
With firm tannins, good acidity and added weight from the oak this style can work well with grilled and BBQ lamb, Iberico pork and beef dishes.