We took advantage of a cool spell, relatively speaking, to sip some Tinto Fino, aka Tempranillo. These three lovelies offer a comparison of vine age, winemaking and aging from Spain’s Ribera del Duero. We received these wines as tasting samples.
Ribera del Duero is a rugged wine region north of Madrid that takes its name from the Duero River, which runs through the region. Summers are hot, winters are cold and rainfall is modest.
Viñedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero is a family-owned winery located near the town of La Horra in the central part of Ribera del Duero. Vineyards are planted on rolling hills at nearly 2800 feet above sea level. Soils are predominantly red-clay shales, with varying amounts of silt, sand and gravel.
2016 Viñedos y Bodegas García Figuero Tinto Figuero 4 – plumy aromas with dark fruit and tobacco flavors supported by substantial tannins. 13.5% abv. $21.99
Vines are 15 to 25 years old. Aging for four months in new oak (75% American, 25% French) plus 4 months aging in bottle before release. Pair this with pizza and a crowd.
2016 Viñedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero Tinto Figuero 12 – dark fruit aromas with toast and earth behind them. Cedar, blackberries and ripe blueberries are supported by dusty earth and leather. Tannins are substantial. This wine has a bit more complexity. 14% abv. $31.99
Vines are 40 years old. Spontaneous fermentation got things going before malolactic fermentation then 12 months of aging in new and first-use oak barrels (50% American, 50% French). 12 months of aging in bottle followed before release. A grilled ribeye and roasted broccolini will pair nicely with this wine.
2015 Viñedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero Tinto Figuero Viñas Viejas – dense ruby-garnet in the glass with aromas and flavors of dusty earth, ripe blackberries and blueberries. Leathery, cedar notes float in the background and all are supported by firm tannins. Give this wine some time to unwind itself and you’ll be rewarded with more depth and character. 14.5% abv. $67.99
The vines are older than 60 years (hence viñas viejas – old vines – on the label). The wine was aged for 15 months in new oak followed by one year in the bottle before release. Save this wine for a splurge like lamb chops. Cook them on the grill and prepare roasted potato dominos à la Francis Mallmann as a side. Sit back and enjoy a leisurely meal. Here’s hoping for more cool weather!
Thanks to Quintessential for sending this trio of Tempranillo our way.