Here at Pintxo, Spanish wines are a serious passion. We love learning about them, drinking them, and most of all sharing them with the Seattle wine-drinking community. So, what better way to share our love of all things wine than offer $10.00 off all wine bottles (including cava) every Wednesday, and couple it with a fun and informative web piece? Today’s wine spotlight is one of our newest wine offerings, Valdecampana ’09 Tempranillo from the Ribera Del Duero area of Spain.
What is a Tempranillo?
In the U.S we have access to a great variety of wines from around the world, but we’re still so used to buying and consuming wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. Because of this, few people are aware of the classifications of Spanish wines. This can make choosing a Spanish wine off our menu (or even to purchase for at-home enjoyment) a little difficult. So, before we get into highlighting the delightful Valdecampana Tempranillo, I’d like to briefly look into what a tempranillo is.
Tempranillo is the type of grape used to make wines, and tempranillo grapes can be found throughout Spain. Tempranillo grapes are early ripening grapes, and they generally produce red wines that highlight dark fruit and licorice aromas. Tempranillo wines are well-balanced in their sweetness and acidity, as well as in the color that they present.
While Tempranillo grapes are popular throughout Spain, the tempranillo from the Ribera Del Duero where the Valdecampana is from are unique because they have tougher skin than other grapes. This creates a unique wine because the tougher skin makes it so that skin-to-juice contact occurs during the juicing process, creating a more full-bodied flavor for the wines yielded. It is this excellent characteristic that the Valdecampana features.
A Little About The Valdecampana Tempranillo
Pintxo’s Valdecampana ’09 Tempranillo selection is a Crianza style tempranillo style wine. Crianza is one style of wine that is classified by the aging process and the manner in which it is aged. Crianza classification is as follows:
-Aged for two years
-A minimum of one year must be spent in an oak barrel
-Eligible for release anytime after the 1st of October, two years after they were harvested from the vine
The Valdecampana ’09 Temperanillo is true to its origins and is described as being “A well structured, complex Crianza with black fruit aromas, and hints of both tobacco and vanilla.”
A Little About The Ribera Del Duero Area
Ribera Del Duero is an area of Spain located in the North, and rests about an hour and a half from Madrid. The region rests along the Norther plateau and runs through 4 different provinces of Castilla y Leon, including: Burgos, Segovia, Soria, and Valladolid.
Although Ribera Del Duero is rather new in terms of being an official Denominacion de Origen (established in 1982), the practice of winemaking has been an integral part of Ribera’s culture for around 2,000 years. As such, the area is rich in wine culture, wine-related architecture, and wine appreciation. In fact, some wine cellars built back in the 13th century are still being utilized today in order to protect the produced wines from the often extreme temperatures of the Ribera region.
The wine making community in Ribera worked to bring Spain together it its own way, connecting the region to other areas by exporting its wine. As the wine industry grew, Ribera also inspired the first quality standards placed on wines, known as the “Ordinances of Castilla y Leon.” These would go on to form the framework for the larger scale wine standards that Ribera, and the rest of Spain would establish.
Ribera wines are highly regarded among the wine drinking and wine making community. The region is well-known for producing and exporting high quality wines, as well as for their rich wine making history.
-Summers are generally dry and temperatures can rise up to 104 degrees F.
-Winters are long and severe. Temperatures during the winter can drop to -0.4 degrees F.
(Both the extremes in summer and winter weather serve to explain why specialized wine cellars are both use and are necessary to protect the products being made.)
-Average Rainfall Per Year: 17.7 inches
-Average Altitude: 2750 feet