Review: Wines of 12 Linajes, 2018 Releases
Ribera del Duero’s 12 Linajes (made at Bodegas Gormaz) offers a typical selection of three wines of different quality levels, and while are all made with 100% tempranillo grapes, the age of the vines and barrel types differs with each wine. (See below for details.)
Some addition background:
The winery was founded in 1972, and was one of the first wineries to receive the official certification of appellation. Bodegas Gormaz controls over 573 acres of vines in Ribera del Duero’s Soria province, which is the highest and least exploited of the region’s districts. The Gormaz vineyards, which are distributed over more than 1,000 small farms, are planted at altitudes ranging between 845 and 960 meters (2.535 and 2,880 feet). There is a wide diversity of soils, both in terms of composition and diversity, with one common characteristic: the calcareous rock which adds minerality to the grapes.
At the helm of the winery is Ms. Jose Garcia Moren. She is the winery’s Technical Agricultural Engineer, holding a Masters Degree in Viticulture and Oenology. She has been with the winery since 1999. She is a firm believer that winemaking starts in the vineyards. She believes that great wines come from great quality grapes.
Thoughts on the three wines follow.
2017 12 Linajes Roble Ribera del Duero – Comes from 60 year-old vines and is aged 5 months in American oak followed by 4 months of bottle aging. Rustic and meaty, with dried fruit and faded spices crumbled across the top. A little time lets some charm — and fresher fruit notes — emerge, but it’s tough going for the most part. C / $19
2015 12 Linajes Crianza Ribera del Duero – From 70 year-old vines, aged in French and American oak for 14 months followed by 12 months in bottle. A somewhat soft, mushy body quickly reveals a surprising bitterness on the palate, with notes of rhubarb, green pepper, and black tea all mingling rather unsatisfactorily. Uneven throughout, it’s a scattered wine with a heavily tannic finish — though time in glass does help bring things into clearer focus. B- / $25
2014 12 Linajes Reserva Ribera del Duero – Made from 80 year-old vines, aged in both French and American oak for 24 months and is then bottle-aged for another 12 months. Again quite soft up front, though an aggressive tannin quality offers a certain pungency, dominated by leather and beef jerky notes. Rustic and surprisingly simple, but with an interesting, nutty element on the back end. B / $35