That lovely cigar box and cedar nose so typical of many Spanish reds is immediately forthcoming on the nose, along with some herbal elements. Black cherry fruit is forward, and the wine is a bit clumsy in that regard. Tannins are still sharp, giving a somewhat dusty finish, but still quite pleasant overall. At least one hour of aeration is recommended. Still could use some additional age. Good with just about any grilled meat on the barbecue, especially if using wood to smoke. Recommended. GT
A very expressive and complex Ribera del Duero wine, and the winery is not shy about it. The “MB” stands for “Muy Bueno” – “very good.” Spends 2 years in oak and another 2 in bottle before release. Chocolate, cigar box, and pepper on the nose carry through on the palate, opening onto rich notes of spice (allspice) and clean fruit (boysenberry). Lingers well on finish. If you’re a tempranillo fan (and I am) you’ll really enjoy this one. It’s the kind of wine I like with just about any grilled meat – will even stand up to the smoke of realTexas BBQ brisket. Highly recommended. GT
As a wine professional, I was a bit embarrassed at how little I knew about the Spanish wine region of Ribera del Duero before I traveled there in June. Maybe I should not have been—it is famous in the UK, but in the US we barely know the name.
Passing through a guarded gate, my wife and I, on an anniversary trip to Spain, entered the bucolic 1000-hectare estate of the storied Vega Sicilia. This Bordeaux-style winery, founded in 1864, originally was a small village inhabited by the wineries’ employees and connected by rail to Valladolid, 40 kilometers to the west.
Clear, ruby with some blue purple. Huge raspberry on the nose, chocolate, plum jam, cooked berries, violet, licorice, vanilla. Dry, full body, medium tannin, medium acid, full, lush dark fruit, integrated oak, medium finish.
Ruby to garnet red, clear. Aromas of raspberry, jammy fruit, dried flowers, smoke. Dry, medium tannin, medium acid, light fruit, cherry, and oak.