|We have been very excited about this month’s selections for a while now. It was one of those ideas for wine club that sounded amazing – what an incredible showcase of region and style – but we didn’t think it would be possible. The production on one of the selections is very small, which usually means that the winery would have a hard time supporting the volume. Alas, we got it! And this month’s selections play off last month’s. In September we showcased two variations of Malbec, showing you how diverse a varietal can be. We’re doing the same this month with a different varietal…
Let’s talk a little about an amazing region called Ribera del Duero in Spain. This region is located in the North Central part of Spain. Ribera del Duero became a recognized DO (Denominación de Origen) in 1982, but has a much longer history of wine culture. A recent unearthing of a mosaic of Bacchus, the Roman God of agriculture, wine, and fertility, stamps a mark on the wine timeline dating back 2000 years! The main varietals grown in this region are Tempranillo, Cabernet, Merlot, and Malbec. Tempranillo of course is King, and regionally is referred to as Tinto Fino or Tinta del Pais. There is only one white varietal that is allowed to be produced and recognized in the Ribera del Duero, and that varietal is Albillo. We love Albillo, which unfortunately is very difficult to find in the US. We’re working on it, though!
One can’t talk about Ribera del Duero without talking about the most important producer of the r
egion, Vega Sicilia. Vega Sicilia was founded in 1864 and embarked on a mission to produce one of the most respected wines globally. Vega Sicilia’s Unico Gran Reserva will turn any wine collector’s head and extend their glass for a sa
mple. Vega Sicilia was extremely influential in making Ribera del Duero a DO and giving
Rioja a run for its money as to the most prized wine region in Spain. In other words, if you come across a bottle of Vega Sicilia, please call us over for a glass. (We can order it, by the way, with the Unico running about $400/bottle…for non-wine club members, anyway!)
For October’s wines, we found a great little Bodega that has a wonderful history of its own
in Ribera del Duero. Bodegas Pradorey can be found on the north bank of the River Duero. The estate itself has a history that dates back to 1503 when Queen Isabella of Castile bought the land that includes Bodegas Pradorey for the purpose of farming and land acquisition. The winery today still generates power from a hydroelectric dam that was built on the Ribera del Duero in 1921. Pradorey has a commitment to terroir and uses its history of extensive wine agriculture to deliver varietals that showcase terroir… Coincidentally, when we visited Spain last year, we may have come across a bottle of Pardorey, which may have inspired us to pursue finding the wine in the US! Check out this pic of The Craig holding one of our prized finds in Madrid!
And October’s selections are…