Wine tastings offer a perfect opportunity to learn more about wine and discover new flavors. Recently, PitchPR organized a tasting featuring wines from Ribera del Duero, a Spanish wine region renowned for its red wines. The event took place at Green Gastrobar in Amsterdam and was led by Karel Klosse, a renowned wine expert with a passion for Spanish wines. Thank you for the invitation, PitchPR!
The event began with a rare glass of white wine from Ribera del Duero, which only produces 2% of white wine; the rest are red. We then tasted eight different wines, ranging from young Crianza to aged Gran Reserva, each carefully selected to represent the region’s diversity. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the region’s history and the wines produced there during the tasting.
Explanation of Ribera del Duero Wines
Ribera del Duero is a wine region in northern Spain, renowned for its red wines made from the Tempranillo grape, known as Tinto Fino or Tinta del País. These wines have a deep red color and aromas of ripe fruit, spices, and vanilla. Due to the high altitude of the vineyards, the wines possess high levels of acidity and firm tannin structure, resulting in a unique flavor profile and the ability to age well. The weather conditions in the region are very challenging, as one winemaker put it, “We have nine months of winter and three months of hell.”
Karel Klosse provided us with detailed information about each wine, including the winemaking process. All the wines were organic and paired with several dishes made by Green Gastro Bar, a restaurant specializing in vegetarian cuisine with a hint of meat. We also discussed general rules for pairing food and wine, as well as how to find the best combinations. Although full-bodied red wines don’t always pair well with vegetarian dishes, it is possible to make it work.
During the tasting, we were presented with eight different wines, each with a unique taste and aroma. Below is an overview of the wines tasted and detailed tasting notes:
- Martín Berdugo, Parcela 100, Cosecha, 2020. This single vineyard wine has a beautiful red ruby color and has been aged for 9 months in wood. It has aromas of tobacco, cacao, berries, and ripe red fruit. On the palate, there are lots of ripe red fruit flavors with medium tannins and acidity.
- Emilio Moro’s La Felisa Cosecha 2021. This is a full-bodied wine with a dark purple color and youthful freshness. It has been aged for 12 months in wood, resulting in aromas of red fruit, dried herbs, and orange peel. On the palate, you will taste red fruit, blackberries, oranges, and orange peel, with medium(+) tannins and medium acidity, giving it a solid bite.
- Viñedos La Dehesa, Vetusta, Crianza, 2019. This wine has been decanted for a minimum of 60 minutes to achieve the best results, as advised by the winemaker. It has a deep red color with a slight brown edge. Aromas of chestnut, walnut, cherries, vanilla, and cedar wood are present. On the palate, there’s a very elegant and nutty structure with ripe cherry and vanilla flavors, medium tannins, and acidity. The decanting process has resulted in a well-balanced wine.
- Montebaco, Cara Norte, Crianza, 2020. This wine has a gentle ruby color and intense aromas of ripe peaches and cherries with a hint of dried rosemary. On the palate, I detected spices, white pepper, vanilla, and dried green herbs. It doesn’t taste young and the tannins are gentle, with medium acidity.
- Milenico, Gran Reserva, 2017. According to Karel, this wine is one of the best that Spain has to offer. It has a deep red color and has been aged in wood for 27 months. The wine has very smokey aromas, with ripe strawberries, spices, and fresh parsley. On the palate, there are notes of ripe strawberries, blackberries, sage, and earthy flavors, with medium (++) tannins and medium (+) acidity. This wine has a very terroir-driven taste, and you can really feel the environment of the vineyard.
- Arzuoga Navarro. Cosecha, 2021. This was my favorite from the tasting! It has a beautiful, juicy red color with aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, green pepper, and nice, wild, earthy notes that reveal natural and biodynamic characteristics. On the palate, there are juicy strawberries, green herbal notes, green pepper, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla, with medium(+) tannins and medium(+) acidity. I love the natural flavors that come from using natural yeasts. I was pleasantly surprised that these types of wine are also made in Ribera del Duero.
- Familia Comenge, Reserva, 2018. This wine is a crowd-pleaser, boasting a deep ruby color. Its aromas are of ripe red fruit, with a hint of grapefruit peel. On the palate, I tasted ripe red fruit flavors, including lots of cherries, tobacco, grapefruit bitterness and minerality, and even some raspberry candy cane. These flavors are nicely balanced with medium tannins and acidity. I would definitely recommend this Spanish wine to anyone looking for a good bottle.
- Valderiz, Juegabolos, Cosecha, 2018. To me, this wine is a classic example of a Ribera wine and the perfect choice for lovers of Spanish wines. It has a deep red color and aromas of tobacco, smoke, earth, and slate. On the palate, you’ll taste ripe red fruit and vanilla, resulting in a beautiful, pure, and clean flavor. It has medium (+) tannins and medium acidity, which contribute to a deep, complex flavor, and a pleasant, long, warm finish that lingers.
Ribera del Duero wines are definitely a must-try
The wine tasting was a fantastic experience and a great way to learn more about Ribera del Duero wines. I gained a lot of knowledge from it. The region is much more diverse than I previously thought. Tasting different wines and learning about their history and characteristics was an amazing experience. Karel Klosse’s guidance was invaluable and added an extra dimension to the tasting. If you’re a red wine lover, Ribera del Duero wines are definitely a must-try. Thank you, PitchPR, for organizing and inviting me to this event!
More information about the Ribera del Duero region: www.riberadelduero.es