Better than Barolo???
Better than Barolo???
I’ve long thought Ribera del Duero to be Spain’s best wine region and apart from the elite/unaffordable top few brands, this represents a really good investment for medium term drinking, especially for those the wrong side of 70 already!
Very tempting particularly as Bordeaux and Rhône is mostly a miss for 21
Which producers do you like? Have to say I’ve never been impressed with Ribera myself, and certainly not from a value perspective!
We recently discovered Aster, which is a sister company of La Rioja Alta, and liked the quality. But we haven’t yet followed them for long enough to make a categorical recommendation.
I’ve only got three Riberas in the understairs cupboard, one of which is the 2010 of this wine (which is delicious and good value as many here know).
I bought a case of Aalto 2007 at auction a couple of years ago and have been enjoying that. Feels like it could go a long distance yet, but very pleasurable now. It’s rich, but the acid keeps it fresh, while not being overly acidic to my taste.
Then I have a Jesus Madrazo Seleccion 2018 which I’m planning to hang onto for at least five years - would be interested to know if anyone has experience of his wines.
My notes say I had a Corimbo 2011 in 2016 - again, rich, with prominent tannin, but very drinkable.
Well, it’s £16 a bottle I.B., add VAT and Duty and call it £20. Storage for 5-10 years another £1 a year? The 2011 is currently £23 a pop, so no real money value in this.
I’ve got a couple of 2010s from various Mystery Cases, so I might open one soon. Only in the interests of research, you understand.
Agreed, but that assumes that the price of wine will not inflate though, if you assume 6 years in bond and an inflation rate of 5% the £23 becomes £30.80.
Another RdD fan here, coincidentally a posted a couple of days ago on the First Release thread about the small selection of RdD offered by TWS (and, in fairness, other major UK retailers). It seems to be a bit more marmite in the UK market than I had previously considered.
Haven’t had Bohorquez yet myself, but picked up a bottle of the 2011 last week, might try it this weekend and decide about the 2017. It may not be a huge financial bargain at £21.67 per bottle incl VAT and Duty (plus storage cost, if in reserves), but still a reasonable price for the wine if the quality is good.
I wonder why TWS doesn’t sell other vintages. As a region, RdD is much less hung up on the whole Reserva/Gran Reserva thing than Rioja, and many wineries, including some top ones, don’t bother with it at all, it’s quite producer-specific.
For example, Vega Sicilia labels Unico simply as Cosecha, because they don’t comply with the DO stipulations on barrel size when ageing. They and others (older and newer producers) are more concerned about the winemaking process overall than complying with oak / bottle ageing stipulations for Crianza/Reserva/GR which are basically copied and pasted from Rioja. Of course, when the most famous brand of all doesn’t comply, there is less pressure for others to do so.
I guess the UK market and TWS has familiarity with, and some sense of quality guarantee from, these terms due to Rioja, so maybe it works from a marketing perspective. I would suggest they might be missing out on some great wine by focusing too much on this in RdD.
It would be great to see more RdD at TWS. Bohorquez is the only RdD in the entire TWS Fine Wine range, which (with all respect to Bohorquez) is surprising to me, given the reputation of the region.
An EP offer for Unico is probably too much to hope for, but the producers I’ve enjoyed over the years (apart from Vega Sicilia and Pingus) include Aalto, Pago de Carraovejas, Pesquera, Acediano, Hacienda Monasterio, Emilio Moro, Pingus PSI, Pradorey, Cillar de Silos, Tomas Postigo, Matarromera, Pinea, Protos (mainly the Crianza) and Arrocal. Alion is also a possibility at the “budget” end of Vega Sicilia’s range. There are many others of course. The ones I’ve listed have a quite a few wines in the £25-50 range, with some in the £50-100 range.
At the more affordable level (let’s say £10-20), there’s also Pago del Cielo, some Valdubon, and maybe Legaris. Emilio Moro has some of its range which just about gets in this category.
You also have some of the big Rioja names establishing outposts in RdD, such as LRA via Aster, and CVNE. Haven’t tasted a lot of these.
Obviously that’s a long list of producers (too much time drinking it in Spain…), my point is that there is plenty out there for potential consideration, even if only a couple more than today, particularly something in the £25-50 range. While I take the points about cost and vintage variability, it seems odd to be so narrow on it. I guess TWS might have issues getting supply from some of the producers if they have established distribution in the UK (and the UK isn’t a make or break market for RdD), but I would hope there are some opportunities…
Rant (hopefully good humoured) over. Perhaps I’ve got it completely wrong and we UK lovers of RdD are too small a group to be worth it for TWS, in which case I’ll carry on buying it elsewhere. Let’s see how 2011 Bohorquez tastes this weekend…Happy Friday.
Another RdD fan here too. Pre-brexit direct from Vinissimus/Decantalo was the way to go for me. No longer worth it IMO, I’d happily see some more around too. Perhaps this explained the historic gap, that has now emerged? Have enjoyed most of your list in the past and picked up some Aster in the HN sale (which I haven’t tried). Keen to try that. I’d welcome any views on it.
Have had some success in RdD from these guys e.g. Emilio Moro at £16.83 vs the inflated post brexit prices from the spanish suppliers directly e.g. £24.55.
Alion was a personal favourite wine for me (particularly when it was more affordable)
I wasn’t impressed with Legaris back in the day (Protos was not much more expensive in the early 2000s), but for affordable I really enjoy this Altos de Valdoso. Less robust, more acidic, nicely balanced and without much oak contribution (LOL, not what you go to RdD for). £9, though.
I used to wonder the same but in the description for the 2017 Pierre mentions that it is first Reserva they have produced since 2011. So I guess it’s one like the Rioja “especials” where they only apply the Reserva in special vintages and maybe Pierre feels it’s only a good deal in those years.
Bohórquez Reserva 2017 (thewinesociety.com)
Taken from the above page is this - “Owner Javier Bohórquez only releases the Reserva when he is convinced by the quality and longevity potential of the wine.” I seem to recall that in the email drawing attention to this offer that it was stated that 2017 was the first vintage after the 2011.
The fact that Vega Sicilia is the most famous wine of Spain does shape things. It wasn’t until the success of Pesquera and the establishment of the DO that there was a focus on the autoctonous grapes. I do think the Spanish market has a big influence here. RdD is packed with trophy wines and the price per bottle and for grapes is higher than Rioja (when I left Spain in 2004 I’d say they were comparable). Also, the marketing of RdD top wines can be celebrity heavy.
I get the impression that many Rioja producers think time’s up and now innovation might be higher there than RdD. Lots of wines produced outside the old aging guidelines. Variety of grapes used increasing. Resurgent whites in new styles. A focus on terroir driven village and vineyard specific wines, and field blends. And still prices for many of those are reasonable relative to RdD as Rioja is perceived as “old hat” by Spanish consumers, and many of the novel wines might be unexpected for British buyers too.
Just going through the reviews on the website and this forum and there does seem to be a significant number of corked or otherwise faulty bottles.
On the issue of labelling/classification, on a recent visit to RdD we certainly found at one winery that one of their Cosecha wines was both better and substantially cheaper than the Crianza. This suggests to us that the Crianza is produced for those determined to have a classification and willing to pay over the odds for it.
Not a region I’ve ever been really at all interested in. Lots of trophy wines, and big, over-extracted wines in the past. I get the impression that things are looking up as these wines go out of fashion a bit, but quite honestly Mencía from Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra is just waaay more interesting to me.
I don’t think crianza means much at all in Spain these days.
Count me in the RdD fan club - strong overlap with the producers listed, and a (possibly) excessive quantity of carraovejas in the cellar. High quality problem to have.
Not that I dislike Rioja / Mencia etc etc….