Ribera Del Duero

A visit in October 2019 to Ribera del Duero, writes Robert Boutflower, Spanish Specialist at Tanners, was a bit of a revelation. For many years this region has had bags of potential, in fact it has threatened to “take Rioja’s crown” in some instances. However, with too many bodegas a bit inclined to think they were making Vega Sicilia, and falling somewhat short, the wines have been a bit patchy. My tasting of 220 wines happily confirmed that we are now seeing great improvement, and has allowed us to buy from two outstanding new sources.

These wines are riper and silkier than I have previously tasted with softer tannins (although plenty of it) and much better balance and length. Late frosts can restrict yields, but this tends to also ensure better concentration. Ribera del Duero makes serious, dark, intense reds that last for years, yet are much more approachable in their youth than I’ve encountered before. Make no mistake, these Riberas are ‘full-on’ reds yet the quality, class and enjoyment of them is now much advanced.

Dominio Basconcillos, near Trevino in the Burgos sub-region, was started by José Maria Basconcillos in 2000 with the help of legendary Ribera winemaker, Tomas Postillon. The whole bodega is modern, large, surrounded by its own vineyards on the high plateau at 960m, crucial to allowing later ripening and a higher glycerol content in the wines. Organic, very clean, with more Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot planted than their neighbours, this is a top bodega with intentions to be at the wine world’s top table – a wine of reference in Ribera del Duero in my book.

Abadia de Acon, in Castrillo de la Vega, is closer to the river itself while still in the Burgos sub-region. Two brothers, Carlos and Jose,  have invested in a boutique winery with lots of modern kit, good quality barrels and smart small vats to handle different plots. They have 33 hectares of vineyards on both sides of the river, and their wines have an effortless class about them.

Showing 5 Items

  1. Acón Reserva Tempranillo Abadía de Acón, Ribera del Duero 2014
    Acón Reserva Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero 2015
    Tempranillo/Cencibel 14.5% Vol
    Spain > Galicia & NW Spain
    This is meaty and intense with silky black fruits backed up with hints of toast, liquorice and...
    £25.50 per bottle
  2. Acón Crianza Tempranillo Abadía de Acón, Ribera del Duero 2016
    Acón Crianza Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero 2017
    Tempranillo/Cencibel 14.5% Vol
    Spain > Galicia & NW Spain
    A wine with substance, depth and concentration. Red fruit flavours are overlaid with notes of...
    £16.95 per bottle
  3. Acón Roble Tempranillo Abadía de Acón, Ribera del Duero 2018
    Acón Roble Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero 2018
    Tempranillo/Cencibel 14.5% Vol
    Spain > Galicia & NW Spain
    A juicy, accessible wine with good cherry fruit, chocolate and liquorice notes with hints of spice....
    £12.50 per bottle
  4. Viña Magna Reserva Dominio Basconcillos, Ribera del Duero
    Viña Magna Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Dominio Basconcillos 2016
    Tempranillo/Cencibel 15.0% Vol
    Spain > Galicia & NW Spain
    Ripe, full and rich wine with hints of elderberry on the nose. Warm and mouthfilling with good...
    £39.50 per bottle
  5. Viña Magna Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Dominio Basconcillos 2019
    Viña Magna Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Dominio Basconcillos 2019
    Tempranillo/Cencibel 15.0% Vol
    Spain > Galicia & NW Spain
    Packed full of crunchy black fruit flavours, this characterful wine is a blend of Tempranillo with...
    £14.50 per bottle

Showing 5 Items