Review: 3 Ribera del Duero Wines from Familia Fernandez Rivera, 2023 Releases

Review: 3 Ribera del Duero Wines from Familia Fernandez Rivera, 2023 Releases

The Familia Fernández Rivera can be found in Spain’s Ribera del Duero, where the weather is hot and the tempranillo grapes grow ripe, developing an unmistakable intensity of flavor. The family harvested its first vintage in 1975. Today it farms 200 hectares of tempranillo, all sustainably, bottling the resulting wines under four different brands. Today we look at three of them — again, all 100% tempranillo expresions from the 2018 and 2019 vintages.

2019 Tinto Pesquera Crianza Ribera Del Duero DO – Hearty and chocolatey, this is an aggressive wine with overtones of black plums, currants, and ample pepper, with plenty of vanilla in the mix to sweeten things up. The tannins are full throttle in the mix now — this is a wine that could stand to be tempered by some time in the cellar — though some more vibrant signs of strawberry are peeking through today. Aggressive and tight now, I’d check in again on this 2026. B / $40

2019 Condado de Haza Crianza Ribera Del Duero DO – This single-vineyard tempranillo is bold but not off-putting, this wine offers an aggressive one-two punch of dark chocolate followed by barrel char, with a rumbling anise quality bringing up the rear. Some brambly thistle quality is countered by a blackberry element, again whipped by licorice as things start to even out. Straightforward but certainly enjoyable, the greener and more tannin-heavy elements in the wine are aided by pairing with hearty fare, but the hints of fruit late in the game give it some level of approachability on its own. B+ / $25

2018 20 Aldeas Ribera Del Duero – “20 villages,” FYI. A gentler style of wine than the preceding, this wine takes a core of blackberry and blueberry and layers in elements of graphite and some mild tannins, which keep the experience grounded and balanced. A touch of licorice on the finish works well with some inherent, lingering sweetness, and there’s a bit of a balsamic edge that peeks out from time to time, but perhaps it’s ultimately the extra year of bottle age that is what really helps round out this wine. A- / $30

2018 20 Aldeas Ribera Del Duero




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