Ribera del Duero is a well-known Spanish wine region, but Abadia Retuerta chooses not to use that regional name, instead selecting the more flexible “Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon” geographical indication. Though it hails from the same part of the country, Abadia Retuerta’s Sardon de Duero designation lets the winery choose more liberally among grape varieties used in the blend — in this case the wine ends up as 75% tempranillo, 15% cabernet sauvignon, and 10% syrah (plus a minor percentage of other random grapes).
The finished product — a “Sardon de Duero” — is bold and opulent with aromas of cherries, wet fur, hazelnuts, and roasted meats. The palate is lightly herbal and bitter, the cherry core taking on more dried herbal notes and the finish edging toward a balsamic character. Complex and engaging, and an interesting spin on Spain.
A- / $25 / abadia-retuerta.com