Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 59

YEAR'S BEST RIBERA DEL DUERO
94 | Viña Vilano

$60

2016 Ribera del Duero Terra Incognita ^
Vilano is a cooperative founded in 1957 in
Pedrosa del Duero, its members now farming more than 740 acres of vineyards. This
is the winery's top selection, from vines with
more than 100 years of age. Even after 22
months in French oak barrels and another
year in bottle, the wine is refreshing, with
tart cherry and pomegranate power. There's
something yin about it, a shady coolness, a
relevance to grilled eggplant in its firm, rocky
tannins. And there's also something bright,
revealing flavor detail that will only gain in
complexity with further aging. ¤ Misa Imports,
Dallas, TX
277225

93 | Dominio del Aguila

$225

2014 Ribera del Duero Peñas Aladas Gran
Reserva ^ Jorge Monzón farms just over six
acres at Peñas Aladas, his coolest vineyard
site in Aguila. Most of it is planted to ancient
vines of tempranillo, with some albillo, bobal
and others, all growing in sandy soils with
blocks of chalk. He selects the best clusters
for this wine, using the rest for clarete, a light
red that's traditional in this region. The complexity of the field blend comes through in
layers of crunchy fruit, from fresh-picked
wild blueberries to green and black olives.
It's tight and spicy, with an old-fashioned
charm that doesn't stop, drawing you back
to taste it again and again. ¤ European Cellars,
Charlotte, NC
273644

93 | Dominio de Atauta

$46

2015 Ribera del Duero ^ The highlands of
Atauta, near the headwaters of the Duero,
look a lot like the rolling hills of the Douro
Superior far to the west, across the border
with Portugal. And though this wine comes
from a collection of cool high-altitude vineyards, it has the lovely ripeness and dynamic
tannic force of a great Douro red. In Atauta,
however, the vines grow in clay and sand over
limestone rather than in Douro schist, so it
may be other factors at work: vine age and
genetics. The vines at this particular collection of vineyards all date to a time before
phylloxera, yet they still have the stamina
to deliver small quantities of concentrated
fruit, presented here with a fresh red clarity,
clean and savory in its gracious power. ¤ TriVin Imports, New Rochelle, NY
277061

93 | Cepa 21

$78

2015 Ribera del Duero Malabrigo Tempranillo ^ This grows at a vineyard in Castrillo de Duero where the soils are loam and
sand. Some of the vines face north, others
face southeast. Between the exposures and

the cold nights, the wine delivers fine-tuned
ripeness with the volume turned up high,
as you might expect from a modern Ribera
del Duero, but without any excess weight
or heat. In its context, this feels elegant, its
density and meaty fruit flavors restrained
enough to offer hints of hibiscus and cassis,
its silken texture finely knit. Impressively, it
sustains that integration over the course of
several days, relatively copacetic about oxygen, suited to five or six years of aging. ¤ USA
Wine West, Sausalito, CA
276887

93 | Resalte de Peñafiel

$27

2016 Ribera del Duero Lecco Crianza ^
Lecco is a selection from vines around 30
years old, when they begin to restrict their
yields on their own. This crianza spends
14 months in oak barrels, 70/30 French to
American (more used barrels than the wines
labeled under the Resalte brand). It's not
just the older barrels and the American oak
that makes the wine taste Spanish, however
mysterious that description may be. But part
of what's great about this wine is how mysterious it is-to an American, at least. The
winemaker, Enrique Andrades, in response
to my queries, said his intention is for Lecco
to be easy to understand. Also, he hopes it's
easy to drink; and, with that, I would agree:
The plump fruit has evolved toward licorice,
black plums, a meaty richness in the middle and a delicate, fragrant spice that lasts
in the end. That fragrance brings to mind a
spice rub for lamb, or the gentle richness of
lechazo, the baby lamb you might eat with
this in Ribera. Lecco's savory component
would also work well with rabbit paella.
The wine's vibrant energy keeps bringing
thoughts of food. ¤ Toros & Vinos, Miami, FL
276865

93 | Dominio Romano

$40

2015 Ribera del Duero ^ This is a project by
the Cusiné family of Parés Balta in Penedès,
established near Peñafiel in 2005. They have
focused on tempranillo from sandy soils
tended by growers throughout the region,
this wine from vines at least 30 years old,
aged in 400-liter French oak barrels that
have been used for one prior vintage. The
wine's fruit is immediately red, with notes of
sweet plums and raspberries, fragrant and
clean. It has the tannic richness of Ribera
del Duero tinto fino, and smoky power from
its oak, but the wine carries itself with some
delicacy, its crisp fruit bringing fresh air. ¤ USA
Wine Imports, NY
277086

93 | Vega-Sicilia

$540

2010 Ribera del Duero Unico ^ As meaty
and gamey as dry-aged filet mignon, this is a

complex and sophisticated vintage of Unico.
It grows in parcels of old vines rising up a
north-facing hillside, the soil flecked with
gypsum that has crystalized, glinting amidst
the layers of limestone and clay. The wine
itself layers cranberry, fig and black-mushroom flavors into its sleek richness and
power while the structure remains tight as a
drum, even at ten years of age. Built for the
long haul. ¤ Europvin USA, Van Nuys, CA
273643

92 | Dominio de Atauta

$35

2014 Ribera del Duero Parada de Atauta ^
When Manuel Jove purchased Dominio de
Atauta in 2009, the winery started to produce
this wine, an entry-point to a portfolio based
on old vines planted in sandy soils. It blends
fruit from the town of Atauta and the Ynez
and San Juan valleys, all in Sor'a, the vines
all 90 years old or older. Nacho Monclús of
Camperdown Elm in Brooklyn called this one
out: "It tastes like high-altitude fruit," he said,
pointing to its forest freshness, appreciating
its bone-dry austerity. There's a gamey side to
the black fruit; then the wine lasts, generous
and clean. ¤ Tri-Vin Imports, New Rochelle, NY
277062

92 | Cepa 21

$120

2015 Ribera del Duero Horcajo Tempranillo ^ This parcel in Castrillo de Duero rises
to 2,950 feet in elevation, a position that
helps protect the vines from frost in spring,
while the cold nights and the eastern exposure helps sustain acidity in the grapes at
the end of the season. The soils here are clay
and limestone, which also may help point up
some subtleties in the wine even as it pours
on the richness of its robust blackberry fruit
and its supple cream-puff tannins. Give this
a few years to absorb some of those tannins
and the detail in the wine should emerge with
greater clarity. ¤ USA Wine West, Sausalito, CA
276961

92 | Dominio del Cuco

$60

2010 Ribera del Duero Haiku ^ Finely aged
to a satin texture, this wine has sustained
its juicy, purple-plum flavors while taking
on sweet notes of wood and humid notes of
earth. It's the saturated flavor of fruit that
lasts. Justo Casado made this wine from two
vineyards, one a high-altitude site (at 2,950
feet) in Baños de Valdearados, where the
bush vines were at least 80 years old, the
other in Pesquera de Duero, on 25-year-old
trellised vines, both sites with limestone bedrock. The depth of fruit-developed through
a five-day cold soak and 30 days of extended
maceration, then 30 months in new French
oak barrels-never diminishes the freshness
of the wine. ¤ Select Fine Wine, Traverse City, MI
277153
WINE & SPIRITS

JUNE 2020

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Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover4
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