Spain has many different wine regions to explore, and it always amazes me how the same grape variety can take on a new personality depending on where it is grown. Take Tempranillo for example.  In Rioja, it is often in a blend and offers elegance, refreshing acidity and more red fruits concentration to the wines – especially in the cooler areas nearer the mountains.  In Ribera del Duero on the other hand, it´s got power and richness.

In Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo shows a different side to its personality. Here the climate is warmer and the sun is more intense.  Thankfully cooler sites at slightly higher altitudes offer some respite from the heat, and large differences between day and night temperatures help cool down the grapes and maintain acidity.  In this region Tinto Fino (the local name for Tempranillo) and Cabernet Sauvignon are important grapes.  Due to the warmer climate, the wines are richer and more opulent than in Rioja. They are often a very dark garnet colour and display more blackfruit, with blackberry conserve and dried plums.  The use of oak is also quite different here and producers often used french barriques which give some richness and spice as well as structure. 

Image: Familia Torres.

Torres Celeste Reserva 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

VMP: 10600401 Bestillingsutvalget.
Price: 279,90
14.5% abv. 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) Aged 15 months in French and American oak, followed by 21 months bottle ageing

Tasting Note:

Deep ruby colour.  Rich and complex nose of black fruits – damsons, prunes, spice, chocolate and vanilla (oak).  On the palate: Opulent with an abundance of rich and round black fruit, blackberry conserve.  Full-bodied yet balanced by the still fresh acidity and moderately high ripe and glossy tannins which are slightly chewy. Lingering finish.  Extremely well integrated oak. 

Good quality wine with ageing potential. Drink now whilst still young and fresh, or within the next 6 – 9 years during which time the wine will open up more and the tannins will become more integrate.  The 2015 vintage in Ribera del Duero was hot and dry which led to some dehydration and can affect the ageing potential. 

Score: 91 points

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