Part Tres: Ribera del Duero
Yeah Boy!!! Flavor Flav loves the Ribera del Duero and I bet you can’t guess why.
It’s the FLAVOR!!! This is hedonism at its best for an Old World junkie like myself (the old-school European juice).
The details: Spain is technically an old world wine producing country since it is part of Europe and has centuries-old growing culture. However, Spain tends to be a little bit warmer than the majority of its counterparts and also has a preference for American oak for the aging process, so the wines are more reminiscent of new world examples than most of its old world counterparts. This is not true across the board because nothing is true across the board in the wine world- it would make it too simple. The wine world feeds off complication- you could say it is its life force. Moving on. Ribera del Duero is comprised predominantly of Tempranillo and represents a more full-bodied, fruit-forward style of wine but still manages to show secondary (non-fruit) flavors and aromas while maintaining its sense of balance and structure.
Huh? Let’s just say new world wine is visiting the old world and happens to be tearin’ up the discotheque. New world wine happens to meet old world wine and is enamoured by her European ways and of course, the accent. Old world wine is taken by the brazen, spunky style of new world wine and they hang out all evening. One things leads to another and after a little too much to drink, out pops Ribera del Duero nine months later. The beautiful little baby lived with old world wine but was largely influenced by new world wine and what blossomed was a cross of the two. It’s a beautiful story I will tell my kids every night as they fall asleep, assuming they aren’t living with old world wine. Then I will tell them every other weekend.
I think I’m digressing. The point of this post is big, soul-warming reds and Ribera del Duero is one of the gratifying winter delights. The prices for these wines range from very reasonable to mind-boggling pricey. Here’s a list of my recommendations but these are just the ones that have proven themselves to me over the course of time. Salut!
Vega Sicilia- the godfather of Ribera
These producers offer a range of wines from reasonable to over-the-top expensive. Enjoy!