Valderiz Senorio De Valdehermoso Joven Ribera del Duero 2005 Tasting Notes
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Bodegas y Viñedos Valderiz Señorío De Valdehermoso Joven Ribera del Duero 2005 Tasting Notes

Deep in the heart of sun-baked Castille, Bodegas y Viñedos Valderiz produces this straightforward, $11 wine from 100% Tinto del Pais (Tempranillo) grapes. The land—Ribera del Duero—veritably intones tradition, yet the wine proudly proclaims its youth (joven in Spanish means “young”). This is wine that sees no oak, the product of the Pago de Valdehermoso vineyards in Roa. In this case, youth is a positive rather than a lack. The wine brings an enjoyable friskiness, while maintaining its geographic character. Yes it could be more complex, but then it would be something else, gaining here, losing there. A wine of this quality deserves to speak on its own.

Like many Ribera del Duero reds, this wine is nicely packed with both red and black fruit, in this case plum, cherry, raspberry, and blackberry, with touches of white pepper, dried thyme leaves, nutmeg and cloves. The fruity acidity is of medium level. The tannins are nicely arrayed. They give this young wine a grip you don't quite expect. Tempranillo tannins tend to be restrained. It all adds up to a medium-bodied wine you don't want to pass through the mouth too quickly.

The real key to this wine, despite its overt youth, it's the sense of earth it brings across, despite the fermentation in 100% stainless steel and no aging to speak of. A winemaker's delight, the Tempranillo grape buds neither early nor late, and ripens early; in this case, the straightforward process in the vineyard has obviously been matched by a direct yet skilled handling in the winery.


Verdict: Grape and Place
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Tempranillo is based on the Spanish word temprano, meaning early.

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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