The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 127 of 132

{ }  127 Direct to the Source ONE SOMM'S TRIP THROUGH RUEDA AND RIBERA DEL DUERO story and photos by Eduardo Bolaños, Advanced Sommelier When I was presented with the opportunity to spend a few days in Rueda and Ribera del Duero, I jumped at the chance. Not only am I a huge fan of Rueda's and Ribera's wines, but I also believe that these regions offer great quality and value, and are (rightfully) gaining momentum in the U.S. Rueda is a small Denominación de Origen, located within Castilla y León. This small region can make white, rosé, red and even sparkling wines. But the wines that shine here are the ones made specifically from the Verdejo grape. Mainly grown in the area of Castilla y León, this grape is aromatic, rich-bodied and acidic, very reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc. It is the most consumed grape in Spain—and for good reason: It can be made in quite a few styles and it is reflected in the hands of each winemaker who makes it. From light, fresh, cit - rusy with sharp acidity to rich, aro- matic and honeyed. The wines can be v ery versatile to pair with many dishes from light seafood to rich, gamey lamb. These wines are avail - able in the U.S. market and should be given a try—it will surprise you how amazing they can be. Ribera del Duero, in the heart of Castilla y León, has been officially a DO since 1982 but wine in the area has been made for over 2,000 years. What started as DO with fewer than ten wineries has quickly grown into region boasting just under 300 wineries. The Tempranillo grape— known locally as Tinto Fino—is what is mainly grown here; Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot are also allowed. A majority of the wines are put into French oak for long periods of aging, as opposed to American oak which is mostly used in Rioja; the time spent in French oak gives the wine a deep and vibrant color, with a rich mouthfeel with plenty of complexity. I would highly recommend suggesting the wines of Ribera del Duero to any Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers among your guests. Ribera del Duero Winemaker Jorge Monzón of Dominio del Águila posing with his very amazing wines. Winemaker Pilar Garcia and Export Manager Felipe Rodriguez of Bodegas Alvarez y Díez. Chalk drawing of the Rueda DO and the surrounding villages. Tasting the entire lineup of Ribera del Duero wines at Bodegas Hermanos Pérez Pascuas.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - February / March 2016