Review: 3 Ribera del Duero Wines
These wines hail from the northern, central portion of Spain and are composed exclusively of Tempranillo grapes. Yet, like many varietals and regions, Ribera del Duero comprises a huge range of wine styles — though all are surprisingly light in alcohol (under 14%). Here’s how three vintages of RdD stack up.
2007 Bodegas y Vinedos Neo Vivir, Vivir – To live, to live! Vinedos Neo’s Ribera is a young, funky, and a bit skunky wine that exudes barnyard tones. Meaty and medium-bodied, it has a sharp finish that doesn’t help matters. Not my favorite of this batch. C- / $10
2003 Penafiel Ribera del Duero Miros de Ribera Reserva – Straightforward, spicy, and racy, a big food wine with a lush, lustrous body. It has an edge to it, which gives it a bit of a tough finish, but the big bramble, stone, and dark plum fruit flavors, it’s worth the journey. B+ / $25 (est.)
2003 Valdubon Crianza Ribero del Duero (pictured) – Valdubon shows how big Tempranillo can get, with this inky, licorice-inflected wine that recalls Italy’s Amarone wine. Silky, with a lasting finish, there’s a tart cherry body, notes of menthol, and cedar. A fun wine, tastes like it’s an alcohol bomb but actually pulls just 13.5%. A bargain. A- / $20