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In an effort to shed some light on how I study for WSET Diploma Course’s D3 exam, Le Club des Vins is running a series of posts covering wine regions. Today’s topic: Ribeira del Duero
Ribera del Duero is located in the upper valley of the River Duero in the autonomous community of Castilla y Léon which also includes Rueda, Toro and Bierzo.⠀
In a nutshell
- Situated on an elevated plateau
- Continental climate (but quite extreme)
The climate is comparable to Toro and Rueda, although it’s a bit extremer because the region is located on the elevated northern plateau (750m – 1000m). Summers are hotter, winters colder. Frosts, particularly on the valley floors and north-facing vineyards, are the biggest risk.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Mostly clay and silt on top, with alternating layers of limestone, marl and chalk underneath.
🍇 Grapes & styles
Ribera del Duero is known for its outstanding, full-bodied, oaked red wines. Tempranillo plays the leading role here, called tinto fino or tinta del país. Up to 25% cabernet sauvignon, malbec and merlot can be used. These were introduced by @temposvegasicilia_ . Up to 5% of albillo (white grape) or garnacha is also allowed. The ageing reqs match those of Rioja.
Not all producers want to use them, though, as the length of the ripening doesn’t (necessarily) have anything to do with the quality. They use the term ‘Cosecha’ instead. It doesn’t abide by the rules, but probably meets or even exceeds them. Like a Super Tuscan 😏.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
💡 Something you didn’t know (did you?)
Since I’ve been studying wine, I’ve been told that Ribera del Duero will be the first region to be awarded next with DOCa-status. Hasn’t happened yet and I wonder if it ever will?
Best producers include Vega Sicilia (of course), Dominio de Pingus and @bodegasemiliomoro . I’m also a big fan of @carmeloroderobodegas , who used to sell his grapes to Vega Sicilia but now makes his own wine and it’s great. I like Abadía Retuerta too. It’s an hour drive from Valladolid to ’the golden mile’ of Ribera del Duero, all the famous producers are located here 🚘🌟 It looks just like Bordeaux.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Your turn now
I always put a new region on instagram first. If you have any additions or comments on a region, please do share. You can drop a comment on instagram or on the website – see below. Your help is much appreciated!