The Ribera Del Duero region of Spain is fairly new on a world-wide scale. While there has been wine produced there for quite some time, it didn’t really get global acknowledgement until the 1980s. And it doesn’t sound like it is the easiest region to grow grapes in either. According to what I read in Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible, the climate is harsh and the soil is even harsher.
With that knowledge, I expected the wine to be toothy, tough and pretty hard-core. In my quest to find a wine from Ribera Del Duero, I stumbled upon a bottle of 2011 Lopez Cristobal Tinto Roble, and decided to give it a try. Lopez Cristobal is a smaller winery in Ribera Del Duero, but has won quite a few awards. A winery worth checking out (in my humble opinion).
The renowned cuisine in Ribera Del Duero is Lechazo (baby lamb). Since I am not a lamb fan, I opted for some sheep milk cheese – Manchego – to nibble on while I sipped.
Contrary to my expectations, the Tinto Roble was delicate and light. I was expecting a heavy wine and was very happy that it was the exact opposite. Burgundy in color, the wine had a very light nose – I could smell alcohols, cherries and plums, as well as hints of strawberries. The palette was also very light and pleasant – a bit tart, I could taste the cherries with hints of acids.
The wine was not sweet, but fruity and lovely. I really, truly enjoyed my glass.
I also wonder what the wine might taste like after it has time to sit in a cellar for a few years. I am thinking of buying a bottle to hang onto for a few years. I was so very pleased by my find – and am looking forward to trying other wines from this region and from Spain.