And for those of you who have been biting your lips in eager anticipation, the grand prize winner is Pago de los Capellanes’ 2003 Tinto Reserva from the Riberia del Duero. This same Bodega also received a Gold Metal for their Picon 1999. Well done!!! Winning awards is not foreign to this winery being that they have received an award for their Tempranillos almost yearly for the past decade. Just last year alone, they won the Silver Metal in the Monde Selection 2005, Brussels competition and a Gold Medal in the Tempranillos al Mundo in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Another interesting fact to note is the rise of Tempranillo internationally. We all tend to believe that Spain is not only the dominate producer of Tempranillo, for which they are, but that they are the only ones capable of making a stellar Tempranillo wine, for which they are not. Those of you from our neck of the woods, The United States, might be familiar with Martin & Weyrich Winery who won the Gold for BOTH their 2003 and 2003 Flamenco Rojo. Additionally, the Aussie’s stepped up their reputation winning Golds from Stella Bella Wines, 2004 Stella Bella Tempranillo and The Yalumba Wine Company, 2005 Yalumba Handpicked Tempranillo.
I also wanted to bring to light some up and coming regions in Spain that are beginning to be recognized for their amazing wines: Utiel-Requena and Campo de Borja. Utiel- Requena, located in the western part of Valencia has been most notably recognized for their use of the Bobal grape; but low and behold, Vicente Gandia Pla won a Gold metal with their 2001 Hoya de Cadenas Reserva Privada. Campo de Borja is a more recent addition to the DO family, acquiring their Demarcation status in only 1980. Although they are primarily known for their Crianzas, Roses and French varietals, Bodegas Bordejé has won a Silver Metal for their 2001 Pago de Romeroso, bringing even more recognition to this ever-rising star.
Being that the Tempranillo grape is beginning to be experimented with internationally, I have faith that the competition will begin to get more heated in the months and years to come. Plus, I think it’s healthy for Rioja and Riberia de Duero to have other wineries world-wide begin to step on their a heels a little to keep the market fresh and the wine interesting!