Ribera del Duero…

Ribera del Duero…


Ribera del Duero…

Ribero del Duero is unquestionably the most important of Castilla y Leon’s five DO zones, and its most famous wine, Vega Sicilia, has proved since the mid 19th century that it is possible to make world class red wines in this area.

Opinion is divided as to whether the best wines are those made entirely from Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto del Pais or Tinto Fino, or those where up to 25 per cent of other varieties have been used. There are several wines which provide eloquent arguments for both sides of the debate. Where blending occurs, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot are the main grapes used, but some producers prefer the white variety Albillo, which brings a touch of perfume to the wines.

As in Rioja the wines are graded according to how long they have been aged. A crianza must be a minimum of two years old on release, having spent at least a year in barrel, a reserve must be three years old, with at least one year in barrel; and a gran reserve must be five years old, with at least two years in barrel.

Ribera del Duero’s principal advantages are the altitude (up to 900m) and chalk rich soils over a schistous bedrock, which is perfect for vines. The wines are bold, powerful, full of fruit, and have impressive ageing qualities.


Martin Berdugo Joven 2010, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 14% alc., €13.99

Here’s one to seek out – a young Spanish red that delivers more than the simple fruit flavours typical of a wine designed for early drinking. Nicknamed spotty youth; it’s earthy, spicy and brilliantly lively on the palate, with a gentle squeeze of tannin.

Excellent value!

Perfect partner to roast lamb, meat dishes, cheese, but this is so supple you could drink it without any food at all.


This Week’s Snippet of Info…

Describe the Ribera del Duero taste?

Full bodied, rich wines full of damson, cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruit, with a spicy, earthy edge and the occasional hint of citrus peel.

Available from Dicey Reilly’s, Ballyshannon

And good independent Off Licences