A lovely little Spanish house recently brought their wines to India and presented the impressive array to a few enthusiasts. The wines were fantastic, coming from regions as diverse as Rioja and Toro, and of course their flagship, the Ribera del Duero. We stumbled upon Valduero when Magan was visiting a winery in Jordan and the owner, seeing Magan’s obviously positive response to his wines and Raki, suggested that he visit his Spanish friends on his next visit. No sooner than said, Magan was in Madrid and on a bus out to Aranda de Duero. An afternoon of a visit later, he invited the winemaker to come and showcase his talent in India. And, here we are…
Ribera del Duero has been the land of one of country’s most interesting and prestigious reds. It’s the combination of its climate and soil that makes it a champion wine-growing area. Located in the in-land, the altitude allows the vines to enjoy the sun during the day and sleep well with a cooler wave at night. This temperature variation develops an array of flavor in the grapes which transforms to the wines when made. As a result, Tempranillo, the king of reds in the area, develops a darker colour, stronger tannins, crisp acidity, and riper flavors. Oak-aging adds another element to the wine as the Spaniards insist on making wines that’d live decades and treat oak as in integral part of Ribera del Duero wines. This is then followed by bottle-aging which not only concentrates the flavor dimensions but also softens the elixir. Mostly, all the reds made here are 100% Tempranillo based with an exception to Vega Sicilia that is generally a blend between Tempranillo and some international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and the likes.
We tasted these wine while their sojourn in Delhi and here’s the impression of these wines on us:
2010 Bodegas Valduero – Albillo Blanco – Ribera del Duero (White):
A rare local grape variety that once originate in Ribera del Douro but has almost extinct with an exception to Valduero’s vineyards, all exclusive!!
A young pale-hued wine with a distinctive palate. Aromas displayed ripe white fruits, citrus notes, and minerality. Intense gooseberries, green peels, and straw with a smooth mouthfeel, creamy short finish, and tart acidity to linger for long. A nice way to start the evening as an aperitif. Not to forget a classy old-world style classy label.
2007 Bodegas Valduero Arbucala Esencia – Tempranillo – Toro (Red):
Fresh young ruby hue. Fresh intense nose with dark fruits, cherries, and earth dominating along with soft but soave wet wood and oak. Dry, rustic charm lit palate with spices, dark berries, cherries, and hint of cranberries. Tannins were soft round and palatable and complement the wine’s balance perfectly. A great drinking wine alongside some soft herbed cheese.
2007 Rincon de Navas Rioja Reserve – Tempranillo – Rioja (Red):
Deep Ruby red appearance . Mild + smooth but complex nose with notes ranging from dark fruits to spices and herbs to dried fruits. Dry palate with elegant oak mixed between notes of cherries, plums, beetroot, leather, earth, and well rounded velvet-textured tannins. Outstanding balance and structure. A great wine and a must try.
2005 Bodegas Valduero Rioja Reserve – Tempranillo – Ribera del Duoro (Red):
Deep ruby colour. Soft rounded nose dusty, oaky, and dark fruits dominant aromas. Dry palate with very elegant mouthfeel, oak adds another element. Good complexity, commendable balance, and a long lingering aftertaste. Another good wine to add to your cellar.
2001 Bodegas Valduero Gran Reserve – Tempranillo – Ribera del Duoro (Red):
Deep ruby hue with no signs of aging (wow!). Strong secondary notes of burnt wood, copper, spinach leaves, dark fruits, black pepper, cassis, and almonds. Dry juicy palate with powdery tannins, high acidity, and a dusty mouthfeel. Sour cherries, fruits, violet, oak, sweet tobacco, shrubs, and olive dust notes were prominent. The wine yells for food and must be served so. Good structure and strength to grow better with further aging.
2006 Bodegas Valduero Arbucala – Tempranillo – Toro (Red):
A deep appearance with little signs of aging. Intense nose of dark fruits, black spices, roasted vanilla, fresh oak, cherries , earth, and dusty leather. Soft round palate with matured tannins with juicy flavours of plums, blueberries, beetroot juice, currants, and wet wood. Ripe flavours and good balance. Can live well for another 5-6 years. Best serve with some tender robustly-flavoured red meats.