Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero

California Cabernet drinkers need to discover the wines of Ribera del Duero. These wines may be some of the most lush, full-bodied, oak-scented, hedonistically-styled wines to be coming out of Europe today.

Top-end Ribera del Duero wines traditionally see long periods of aging in new oak (often American, sometimes French), imparting a roasted character at once recognizable and unique (think espresso roast, toasted coconut, toffee, butterscotch and vanilla). Great Ribera del Duero has the depth, richness and deliciousness of high-end California Cabernet (and usually at a better price), along with an element of freshness so often lacking in blockbuster Cabs.

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  1. Escondido

    2017 / 750 ml. | Item#48700

    JS9393 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Friday, July 26, 2019
    Some modern, meaty oak and spice, laid across ripe dark cherries and plums here. The palate has a very smooth and slick feel with a succulent, juicy and attractively fresh, dark-plum finish. Handy depth. Drink or hold.
    Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

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  2. Torre de Golbán Crianza

    2013 / 750 ml. | Item#41298

    VN9191 pts. - Vinous - Jan 2017
    Inky ruby. Vibrant, spice-accented cherry and blackberry scents take on a floral topnote. Smoky and penetrating on the palate, offering gently sweet black and blue fruit and mocha flavors that unfold and become deeper with aeration. At once rich and energetic, with supple tannins framing lingering boysenberry and spicecake qualities on the long, zesty finish.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tinto Fino

    $15.99

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  3. Psi

    2018 / 750 ml. | Item#53698

    JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, January 14, 2021
    A rich red with chocolate, ripe fruit, walnuts and spice. Full-bodied and round with ripe tannins and a flavorful finish. Plenty of ripe fruit at the intense finish and lots of old-vine character with bark and wet-earth undertones. Real deal. Drink or hold.
    RP9494 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 17th Sep 2020
    I had already tasted the unbottled 2018 PSI, which saw a jump in quality after they got a new winery where they had much better working conditions. This wine is produced with purchased grapes from 200 hectares in around 750 plots and 20 different villages throughout Ribera del Duero (they now rent and work 50 hectares of these vineyards themselves). In 2018, they were able to use some 12% Garnacha and 2% other grapes, including whites that are found intermixed with the Tinta del País/Tempranillo in the old vineyards. Garnacha adds freshness, and the wine shows it — the character of the grape comes through in the blend. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured mostly in 5,000-liter and 10,000-liter oak vats, but 20% of the volume aged in used French barriques for 18 months. The color is quite light (relatively speaking), bright and lively, the nose perfumed, floral and elegant, like no PSI before. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins, and it feels terribly balanced and beautifully textured. It’s elegant more than powerful but full of energy. This is without a doubt the finest PSI to date. Viva Garnacha! 360,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2020.
    VN9393 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2021
    Inky ruby. Highly perfumed cherry and dark berry scents are complemented by a suave floral nuance, and a spicy element adds lift. Silky, sharply focused and seamless on the palate, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that deepen steadily as the wine opens up. Lush yet energetic in style, with solid closing thrust and supple tannins building slowly and adding gentle grip to the floral-driven finish.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tinto Fino

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    $29.99

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  4. Vega-Sicilia Valbuena 5°

    2015 / 750 ml. | Item#46579

    JS9797 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Tuesday, September 22, 2020
    The aromas to this are so complex and enticing with nutmeg, dark berries, chocolate and white pepper. Full body. Dense and layered with so much wonderful, complex and succulent character. It just makes you want to drink it. Drink or hold.
    RP9696 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Dec 2019
    The 2015 Valbuena, a red blend of mostly Tempranillo with some 5% Merlot, is released in the fifth year after the harvest. It’s explosive and showy, with a complex nose that shows a mixture of flowers and wild herbs, balsamic touches and great nuance. This wine has gained in complexity since the 2010 vintage, where they implemented some changes that increased the expressivity and precision of this wine. The tannins are fine-grained and there is very good balance, and the warm conditions of the year have been absorbed well by the wine. Despite the natural conditions of the year, the wine follows the path of freshness of the 2010. 173,673 bottles, 5,625 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in June 2018.
    SP9494 pts. - Wine Spectator - Oct 15, 2020
    This big red hides a solid structure within a generous texture. Ripe plum and currant flavors are balanced by savory notes of dried herb, forest floor and black tea. Juicy acidity keeps this lively. Solid yet graceful. Tinto Fino and Merlot. Drink now through 2035. 14,500 cases made, 1,160 cases imported.
    WS9494 pts. - Wine & Spirits - June 1, 2020
    While Vega-Sicilia’s Unico grows on the north-facing slopes across the road from the winery, the fruit for Valbuena focuses on colluvial soils at the base of the hills, including parcels across the river to the north. This vintage includes six percent merlot, the varieties from Bordeaux being a founding tradition of the estate. And the merlot seems to point up the wine’s perfumed cherry flavors. Though generously oaked, the wine’s elegance gives it a traditional feel, its fruit tannins equal to the oak tannins, the flavors lasting on licorice, warm purple plum and bright notes of strawberry tops. A classic vintage of Valbuena, this should age with grace.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tinto Fino

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  5. Torre de Golbán Reserva

    2012 / 750 ml. | Item#43635

    WE9191 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/31/2016
    Smooth heady aromas of black fruits touched up by oaky vanilla and tobacco are a draw. In the mouth, this is chunky and defined by thick abrasive tannins. Ripe blackberry, coffee and chocolate flavors finish with leftover oak that rests atop residual black-fruit flavors. Drink through 2022.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 100% Tempranillo

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    $18.99

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  6. Antídoto

    2018 / 750 ml. | Item#51307

    RP92+92+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Dec 2019
    The meatier 2018 Antídoto had some resemblances with a Northern Rhône Syrah: hints of smoked bacon and flowers, juicy and plummy, ripe without excess and quite showy. It had a little less alcohol than the 2017 and felt more balanced and round. It had fine, chalky tannins and a dry, long finish. It matured in 600-liter oak barrels for nine months, which was a shorter élevage that seems to have respected the fruit. 135,000 bottles and 3,150 magnums produced. It was bottled in July 2019
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 100% Tinto Fino

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  8. Vega-Sicilia Unico

    2006 / 750 ml. | Item#47269

    JS100100 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, January 18, 2018
    Incredibly floral and beautiful with dark berry, spice, cedar and mint. Chinese plums. Asian spices. Bark. Tea. Full body, dense and so soft and complex. The finish goes on for minutes. Endless and fine. January 2017 release. This reminds me of the gorgeous 1991 or 1964. Drink forever. A wine that you want to spend time with.
    RP9898 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st Jan 2018
    The iconic wine from Vega Sicilia in the market in 2018 is the 2006 Único, which was released after the sale of the 2007 and 2008 vintages because they thought it needed more time in bottle. 2006 was an early vintage, with the harvest beginning the 9th of September. This year the bottled blend is 94% Tinto Fino, the local strain of Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, with 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a long élevage, around ten years split between new and old barriques (French and American), in 20,000-liter oak vats and bottle. It had a very developed and classical nose, very expressive, ripe and exuberant with an herbal twist, combining classical and modern characteristics and with a good balance between youth and development. It’s a more classical expression of the Vega Sicilia character, closer to the wines from yesteryear than the last few vintages. It has to be one of the best recent vintages of Único, for me clearly better than 2005. This 2006 was bottled in June 2012. 93,993 bottles, 2,552 magnums, 165 double magnums and six imperials were produced. In 2019 they will release the 2009.
    WS9797 pts. - Wine & Spirits - June 1, 2018
    Unico’s vineyards are located just in front of the winery, on the other side of the N-122, the road that crosses east to west through Ribera del Duero. These vineyards face north, their soils rich in limestone, two factors that help explain the persistent tension of the tannins in this Spanish classic. In this new vintage, the tannins yield notes of Indian spices, layering turmeric and cinnamon over earthy flavors. There are also vibrant flavors of fresh blackberries and red raspberries, but they are mostly hidden for now, needing more time in the cellar, or decanting, to emerge. The texture is elegant, with enough grip to sustain the wine for another decade at least.
    WE9696 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 6/1/2018
    This vintage’s bouquet of raisin, flower and dust aromas is complex, requiring extended airing to fully reveal itself. Earthy berry and raisin flavors finish with prune and berry notes. It’s a touch ripe and heavy owing to the fact that 2006 was a hot year; it will benefit from more time in the cellar. Drink through 2035.
    SP9494 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jun 15, 2018
    Silky and dense, this red delivers focused flavors of currant, licorice, tobacco and mineral, supported by well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Not showy, but has depth. Lithe and energetic. Drink now through 2021. 7,800 cases made.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

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  9. Alión

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#60368

    JS9696 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Sunday, December 8, 2019
    A very savory and succulent Alion with so much complexity of flavor with berries, chocolate and dried meat. Some cedar, too. Full body. Vertical and very long. Purity of fruit and tannins to this wine. Needs two or three years to soften. Release in 2020. Better after 2022.
    RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Dec 2019
    The highly anticipated 2016 Alión spent 12 months in oak barrels, 80% of them new and built mainly with French oak but with some 5% American oak, and some 10% of the volume matured in 15,000-liter concrete vats. It hits the scale at 15% alcohol and has moderate acidity, showing ripe black fruit and a creamy texture. 2016 has to be one of the freshest and most elegant vintages of Alión, a year with depth, freshness and terrific balance. Same as they do in Pintia, they are finding ways to lower the impact of the oak in the wine; here, they used concrete, and the wine shows more primary and floral aromas and is nicely textured and with fine tannins. 258,458 bottles, 7,017 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in June 2018.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tinto Fino

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  10. El Pedrosal Crianza

    2014 / 750 ml. | Item#45951

    RP9191 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 28th Feb 2017
    The 2014 El Pedrosal, which is sold in some markets under the brand Cepa Gavilán, is pure Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) from 15- to 25-year-old, head-pruned vines planted on soils rich in clay and limestone at 844 meters altitude. It matured in oak barrels for one year. The nose reminded me of the Riberas from the 1990s, with those aromas of orange peel, a touch of aromatic herbs (they always have a balsamic side), and wild berries with those spicy notes of the (good) American oak. They consider 2014 among the top five vintages of the last 27 years that José Manuel Pérez has produced. It’s a year with elegance, balance and freshness. They started harvesting one week before the majority of producers, which provided great freshness in all the wines. They keep their yields low, so their grapes ripen earlier without dropping the acidity. This could very well be the finest vintage of El Pedrosal / Cepa Gavilán. 180,000 bottles produced.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 100% Tinto Fino

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  11. Finca Villacreces Pruno

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#40795

    RP9191 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st Aug 2018
    Always a good value in Ribera and cropped from a fresher year, the 2016 Pruno has notes of licorice, dark berries and even some fresher red fruit. It has abundant, fine-grained tannins that require powerful food. 524,330 bottles and 2016 magnums produced. It was bottled in November 2017.
    SP9191 pts. - Wine Spectator - Sep 30, 2018
    Smoky and loamy earth notes frame a core of black cherry and plum in this firm, dense red. Balsamic acidity balances muscular tannins, which yield to a floral, minerally finish. Drink now through 2028. 40,000 cases made.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 90% Tinto Fino

    $24.99

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  12. Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#22402

    RP9292 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Dec 2019
    The 2016 Finca Villacreces was produced to showcase the essence of the estate, mixing grapes from different soils fermented and aged separately and then blended into a combination of 88% Tempranillo, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot that fermented in concrete and oak vats and matured in 225- and 500-liter French oak barrels for 15 months. I was expecting more freshness here, but I found ripe black fruit and something earthy/organic reminiscent of peat and coal, plenty of fine-grained tannins and ripe and earthy flavors. It’s still quite oaky. Surprisingly enough, the 2017 showed better… 71,242 bottles and 535 magnums produced. It was bottled in July 2018.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 88% Tinto Fino

    $37.99

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  13. Perfil de Mibal

    2004 / 750 ml. | Item#25294

    ST92+92+ pts. - Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - Sep/Oct 2007
    Opaque purple. Strongly oak-spiced aromas of cherry-vanilla, cinnamon and clove. Ripe, round flavors of kirsch and dark berries offer impressive sweetness and a chewy texture, with firm tannins adding shape. Finishes with a strong vanillin oak quality and serious length. Very impressive but I wish that the oak was less pronounced.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 100% Tempranillo

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  14. Valderiz Ribera del Duero

    2017 / 750 ml. | Item#51421

    SP9494 pts. - Wine Spectator - Oct 15, 2020
    This full-bodied red is generous yet structured, featuring depth and balance. Ripe flavors of plum and currant mingle with cocoa, clove and mineral notes, supported by mouthcoating tannins and balsamic acidity. Harmonious and long. Best from 2022 through 2037. 2,000 cases made, 225 cases imported.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tinta del País

    $34.99

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  15. Vega-Sicilia Unico

    2010 / 750 ml. | Item#54489

    VN9898 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2021
    Opaque violet. Intensely perfumed, expansive black and blue fruit preserve, potpourri, Moroccan spice and botanical herb scents are complemented by smoky mineral and vanilla flourishes. Sappy, penetrating and deeply concentrated on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral-laced black currant, bitter cherry, chewing tobacco, mocha and floral pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Shows superb focus and vibrant, floral lift on the wonderfully long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind cherry liqueur, candied violet and spicecake notes.
    RP9797 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Dec 2019
    I was surprised by the aromatics of the 2010 Único, cropped from a powerful and concentrated year that delivered this blend of 94% Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 14.5% alcohol and a highish pH of 3.87. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in a combination of French and American oak barrels and 20,000-liter oak vats and aged for almost six years. It feels quite ripe and somehow old style, dominated by ripe black fruit, with a rustic and earthy touch. It has an ample palate, concentrated and powerful, with some earthy tannins. 85,185 bottles, 3,362 magnums, 228 double magnums and 36 Imperials were produced. It was bottled in June 2016.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

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