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.