Monthly Archives: October 2013
The Ribera Del Duero region of Spain is well known for producing excellent reds. This DO is located in Northern Spain along the Duero River, and is home to many well known wineries, including one of Spain’s most famous, Vega Sicilia. The wines from this region typically are full-bodied and flavorful, and also deep in color. I recently tried two wines from Ribera Del Duero which I thought were quite exceptional. The first I tried was a Crianza from Bodegas Pascual. This 100% Tempranillo from their Buro Selection had a deep dark ruby red color to it with hints of tar and spicy black cherry. It was a full bodied wine with excellent structure and had a nice smooth, spicy finish. The Wine Advocate gave this wine a score of 92, and at a retail price of $26, this was a great deal for a very well made wine.
The second wine I tried was a 2001 Gran Reserva from Bodegas Balbas. I was very impressed with this wine, which was composed of 90%
Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. I first decanted this wine for a little while, which allowed for the wine to open up and present itself. It had a deep dark red color with a bit of sediment in the glass, and it had a nose of ripe cherry and toasty oak. An elegant structure of tannins and acids led to more cherry flavors and hints of chocolate and spice. It had a nice smooth finish, and was a very well-balanced wine. It paired very nicely with grilled rib eye steak, and easily could be paired with a variety of meal options. Wine and Spirits gave this wine a score of 96, which I completely agree with. At a retail price of $85, it is worth every penny. I look forward to trying more wines from both Bodegas Pascal and Bodegas Balbas, and would definitely recommend both of these wines.
Arneis is a white wine grape that is grown in the Piedmont region of Northwestern Italy, most notably in Lange DOC and Roero DOC. It is primarily grown in the Roero DOC, which is the region that it originated from. It tends to be difficult to grow, and Arneis literally means “little rascal”, due to the grape’s erratic ripening . Despite the difficulty in growing the grape, Arneis can produce very good wines with excellent aromatics and flavors.
The Arneis I tried was a 2012 produced by Castello Di Neive, which is a family run estate winery consisting of 150 acres located in the town of Neive, which is within the Lange DOC. From the Montebertotto vineyard, the vines were planted in 1977 and sit in a calcareous marl soil. The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 months, then bottle aged for another 3 months. This wine had a straw color, with a crisp nose of fresh apples and pears. It had good acidity on the palate along with a hint of honey, and a nice clean finish with a touch of almond. I found it to be a very refreshing and enjoyable wine. I could see this being paired with a variety of dishes, and even enjoyed on its own. This was definitely a wine worth purchasing, and if you are not familiar with Arneis, I would recommend giving it a try it for sure.