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Ribera del Duero is one of those wine regions in Spain that doesn't always get the attention it deserves. It is something of a well-kept secret. It can be expensive but it is usually worth it. At over thirty years old, this wine shows how a good Ribera del Duero can age as well as, if not better than, a good Rioja; in fact this beat a table of older Riojas at a trade tasting and everyone around the table wanted to stay for more.
Ribera del Duero Crianza has spent a minimum of 12 months ageing in oak barrels and of course this one has been ageing in bottle ever since - and it still has amazingly fresh red and black fruit flavours, good acidity and some spice flavours from the oak. 5% Cabernet Sauvignon was added to the Tempranillo and that has aided the mellowing and longevity of this wine. It has a lovely velvety texture and a long fruity finish. I was in heaven trying this wine.
Take special care when opening this wine; in some bottles the cork is fragile because of the age of the wine. Leave the bottle to stand for several days before opening. It can be decanted as it has some sediment (though not as much as you might expect from such an old wine) but don’t be too energetic in pouring given the age of the wine – or simply pour carefully directly into your wine glasses. If at first the wine seems a little subdued, give it a swirl in the glass to release all the aromas & flavours.
Personally I would just pour myself a glass (after decanting or pouring carefully from the bottle as there is a little sediment because of the wine's age) and contemplate all the good things in life! But if you do want to drink it with food, it will be great with game, duck, goose, steak and other red meats, poultry, cheese, charcuterie and paella
Chance to try an older Ribera del Duero wine; this was a clear favourite hiding amongst a group of old Riojas at a trade tasting. Amazingly the fruity flavours are still very fresh and the texture is like velvet. Heavenly!