Ribera del Duero Spain
The “in vogue” region for Tempranillo in Spain is Ribera del Duero. It is two hours north of Madrid, in a high altitude river / valley system that is warm during the day and very cool at night. Perfect for high quality viticulture, with grapes normally grown at 800 metres above sea level.
Tempranillo is Spain’s primary indigenous variety, but is also being planted enthusiastically all over Australia (King Valley, Heathcote, Clare Valley, Margaret River. In Spain however it is a major focus and some real gems reside in the old bush vines of Central-Northern Spain. (Bush vines do not have the trellis system that we are used to in Australia and funny enough, look la little like bushes).
The variety produces delicious pithy black cherry fruit, with gentle earthy tannins which have a meaty-earthy aspect, and usually some ripe dark spices. It can also be wondrously perfumed in the mouth.
Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero is a darker, juicier, meatier style than what you get in Rioja (The better known Region of Spain) and it is for these reasons that the region is becoming so famous. 2010 marks another great success for the Cillar de Silos Joven, a very grown-up wine, despite its youthful name- Joven means young in Spanish and is made to be drunk within 1-3 years!
This wine has no oak maturation and it has a natural exuberance and beautifully soft tannins. A very elegant drink that is “bloody” delicious. A few descriptors include, gamey, smooth, concentrated and elegant. The perfumes of violets lead to a velvety palate which is structurally complex lending authority and length.