Tasting the Wines of Ribera del Duero, 2012

When it comes to Spanish wines, Rioja gets all the attention. But Ribera del Duero, just to the south and west of Rioja, is known for somewhat more affordable wines that are also primarily, and often 100%, Tempranillo (also known as Tinto Fino in Spain). Otherwise, the two regions have a lot in common, though on the whole I think Rioja can safely claim the quality crown.

Here’s how the wines tasted at a recent roadshow in San Francisco stacked up.

Tasting Report: Ribera del Duero, 2012

2005 Bodega Renacimiento Rento / B / mint, smoky
2006 Bodega Convento San Francisco Tinto Fino / B+ / touch heavy on the herbs
2009 Valduero Crianza / A- / solid, easy drinking, fresh herbal notes
2005 Valduero Reserva / B+ / heavy menthol
2011 Vina Mayor Barrel Aged Tempranillo / B-
2007 Vina Mayor Secreto Vendimia Seleccionada / B
2003 Vina Mayor Gran Reserva / B+
2009 Protos Tinto Fino / B / lots of strawberry
2008 Protos Crianza / B+
2006 Protos Reserva / B+
2009 Vina Arnaiz Roble / C-
2008 Vina Arnaiz Crianza / C / very rich
2008 Vinedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero Tinto Figuero 4 Months in Barrel Robles / B+ /
2004 Vinedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero Tinto Figuero 15 Months in Barrel Reserva / A- / licorice, fennel
2006 Bodegas Fuentespina Reserva / A- / lots to love
2011 Bodegas Imperiales Abadia de San Quirce 6 Meses / B- / big chocolate notes
2009 Bodegas Imperiales Abadia de San Quirce Crianza / B / muted chocolate
2006 Bodegas Imperiales Abadia de San Quirce Finca Helena / A- / heavy mint character
2004 Bodegas Imperiales Abadia de San Quirce Reserva / B / quite tart
2004 Bodegas Valdevinas Tinar de Mirat Crianza / A / great fruit and body
2009 Bodegas Comenge Don Miguel Comenge Crianza / B+ / richer and Port-like
2009 Bodegas Comenge Comenge Crianza / B / ground meat notes, raisins

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