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Tag Archives: Ribera del Duero

Wine Hotels in Spain: Charm and Luxury Along the Rutas de Vino

Finding the perfect hotel in the right location never ceases to be a challenge. Many of the villages along the Rutas de Vino in Spain have become home to some of the country’s (and world’s) most unique hotels. And what is the best thing about these hotels? They are part of a growing trend of wineries with hotels on site (many locally owned and operated by the winery itself). It is the perfect marriage for traveling wine lovers. However, to ensure the best experience one must consider a number of things. Wine country in Spain is vast and diverse. The scenery along the Rutas de Vino, especially during summer and fall, can be absolutely breathtaking and makes an incredible backdrop […]

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Ribera del Duero

The past few years have been good to the Ribera del Duero wine region in North Central Spain; but much like Sonoma in California wine country, it has had to contend with a more popular older sibling, Rioja. That said, given the region’s much deserved recent international notoriety, things are changing. On a recent trip to Ribera del Duero, I gained a new appreciation for this incredible region for which I’d love to share with you a few of my top highlights. Keep in mind, this is not a complete list, but rather several highlights that I think will most definitely pique your interest, and if we’re lucky, have you booking a trip to this region very soon! 1. World […]

A Snapshot of Tempranillo Producers in Oregon and California

Tempranillo is by far not the most grown grape in California and Oregon, but with a few dedicated producers it will at least be noticed. Let’s celebrate Tempranillo Day on November 8th for those dedicated few who have taken the time and energy to create something amazing from this little “foreign” grape. It is an exciting time for Tempranillo on the western US and part of the reason why is sitting right in front of me. As I type this story, I’m sipping a wine that just might be one of the biggest surprises I’ve come across all year, a Tempranillo from Oregon. Let me elaborate, a fine example of Tempranillo from Oregon, made by the winery Abacela. Abacela is […]

Harvest 2011: A Look Around Spain and Portugal

What is the harvest looking like in Spain and Portugal? Having put in a few calls from across the peninsula, the answers varied tremendously. So rather than interpret it from our standpoint, we felt it would be more appropriate to post information directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. However, if you’re a winery that wasn’t included, please send us an email, or leave a comment below, with your take on the 2011 Vintage! Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope this year turned out to be a great one for you! Cheers! Linaje Garsea – Ribera del Duero, Spain In general, we have noticed older grapes reaching sugar levels 10-15 days earlier than normal, predicting an early […]

El Puño, Viogner, Vino de Mesa, 2009

Now I normally recoil from international varieties being propagated on Spanish soil like a liberal in Alabama. The idea of Pinot Noir in Castilla, for example, is about as revolting as seeing an Englishman in a baseball cap (to borrow a phrase from the Libertines). But, as we all know, Ribera del Duero is not built on Tempranillo alone And credit where credit is due. Scottish winemaker Norrel Roberston MW (who has probably done more than enough for Grenache in Calatayd – although that doesn’t mean the region’s old, old vines are not in danger, quite the contrary) has produced a really lovely barrel-fermented Viognier in that selfsame region. Which means that it cannot be classed as Aragon or Calatayud […]

Sierra de Gredos: A Treasure Trove for Old Vine Garnacha

I have a guilty secret. I just do not get the excitement about Grenache and Shiraz. Blended together, or on their own, these grapes often seem too much of a blunt instrument to me. That is not to say that I cannot appreciate that these are good wine grapes that have their place – of course I can. I even sometimes enjoy the wines made from them, but I hardly ever get excited at the idea of them, or seek them out. This can sometimes be a problem in Spain. I love a good rosado and it is more normal for them to be made from Garnacha than any other grape – which is why I often look for Ribera […]

Spain’s Greatest Wine: Vega-Sicilia Unico 2000

It’s not often that the fates conspire to have me taste the latest release of Unico twice in as many months and I would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to share my thoughts on what is (I think we can all agree?) Spain’s greatest wine. Of course, there are pretenders but Vega-Sicilia has the pedigree. And lots of people put lots of store by pedigree. Pedigree is the main argument for not tasting wines blind. For instance, if you taste Unico next to a whole lineup of similarly highly-rated wines (see my previous post on the Penin tasting), I’ll forgive you for thinking Unico is slim, ready-to-drink (almost as if it was on the downward slope of maturity), […]

2009 José Peñin Tasting: Should Spanish Wine Producers Push Their Latest Vintage?

Evey year, as well as releasing his guide to the wines of Spain, José Peñin puts on a tasting of the top wines (those that got 94 points or more) in Madrid. Like so many tastings of this type (large room, producers behind tables, indecipherable layout, and too many people) the pointers for those attending remains the same: turn up early (to avoid the hordes), taste all the best stuff first (before it runs out), know what you want to taste (this prevents you from running about like a mouse trying to find cheese in a behavioural science experiment) and avoid any woman ostentatiously dressed (her perfume will lay any subtle aromas to waste like napalm over lemongrass) – I […]

NYC Restaurants Review: Casa Mono & Socarrat Paella Bar

Whenever I am planning to travel my first order of business is the Google search “Spanish restaurants in (destination city)”. My recent trip to New York City provided an unparalleled opportunity to visit a metropolis with more Spanish restaurants than any other city in the US. Previous trips produced impressive results (check out my NYC Tapas Crawl); this time would prove to one-up any other trip. Casa Mono After a day of wine seminars, tastings, and pouring, I was invited by my friends from Drink Ribera (Helen, Gabriella, April, and Roger) and Señor Eduardo Cano Uribe (Communication and Promotions Director for D.O. Ribera del Duero) to join them for dinner at Casa Mono. Let me first say that I was […]

A Gastronomic Tour of Spain: Summary of La Vuelta a España

This is the very last, and very delayed, installment of La Vuelta a España. We apologize for the rather large gap between the end of the La Vuelta and our final post, but life has taken the upper hand, as it is prone to do. But before we dive into the exciting details of who won this exciting race, let’s review where they’ve been and what you should have savored along the way. If you want a more detailed explanation of the gastronomy within each stage, feel free to click on the hyperlink provided. We began the first 4 stages of the race in the south of Spain, where the riders powered through the intense heat and radiating sun to […]