Every glass of wine is an adventure in aromas, flavors and textures – at the very least. If you are at all curious about the wine in your glass, there is the added bonus of exploring geography, wine classifications, grape varieties and winemaking techniques. I can’t help but examine the label of every wine I drink; and I am always interested in where the vineyards are located and how the winemaker crafted the wine. This bottle of Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial, which we received as a tasting sample, gave me lots to investigate and enjoy.
2013 Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial — dark ruby-garnet color in the glass with generous aromas of blueberries and dried tobacco with backnotes of cedar and dill. Dark fruit flavors, primarily dried blueberries, take the lead along slate-like minerality, a dusty earthiness and juicy acidity. Hints of spice linger in the background. Tannins are gauzy and drying and in perfect proportion to the flavors which, along with tannins, linger for a moderate-length finish. The body is medium, but somehow lifted a bit by the brilliant acidity. 13.5% abv. SRP $30
This delicious blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah is so easy drinking. It is perfectly balanced for my palate and I enjoyed sipping it on its own as much as I did pairing it with linguica and tomato pasta for dinner.
Bodega Abadia Retuerta is situated in Sardón de Duero to the west of, and just outside of, the well-known Spanish wine region of Ribera del Duero DO (Denominación de Origen). Winemaking in this region can be challenging due to the extreme climate, snowy winters and blazingly hot summers, but cool nights save the day in summer. Abadia Retuerta’s north-facing vineyards rise along the Duero River in the autonomous region of Castilla y León. Vineyard elevations vary with distance from the river as does soil composition leading to “winemaking by plot” to take advantage of terroir differences.
The wines of Abadia Retuerta carry the Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León – Sardón de Duero classification. This “wine of the country” classification reflects wines of place and must be sourced from a single geographical region, in this case Sardón de Duero, and meet alcohol level and sensory standards. Beyond that the winemaker has few restrictions with regard to allowed grape varieties, aging requirements or vineyard yield.
This classification falls below the more familiar DO (Denominación de Origen) and DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) quality Spanish wine classifications. Don’t let the humble classification of this wine dissuade you from considering it. It is a lovely wine and one of the most memorable I’ve tasted this year.