Ribera del Duero is steeped in history, and wine has long been part of it (the earliest traces date back at least 2000 years).
The monasteries fostered the culture of the vine, and vineyards flourished along the Duero river. After some time in the doldrums in the mid 20th century, the region revived and the DO was created in 1982.
Bodegas Valdubón has been part of the renaissance of Ribera del Duero. The winery was founded in 1997 near the village of Milagros (‘miracles’ in English). It is called Valdubón from the nearby of Valley of Ubon, which was famous for the quality of its grapes. Here the Ferrer family found the ideal location to make wines that express the distinctive terroir of what is today recognised as one of Spain’s great wine regions.
Ribera del Duero is the very essence of a continental climate, at 790m. The summers are short and hot, with beneficial cool nights. The winters are extremely cold. The soils are very low in organic matter. Here Tinto Fino, the local version of Tempranillo, flourishes. Its tightly packed, broad-shouldered, long bunches deliver deep colour, plenty of aroma and flavour and a firm structure.
The Bodegas Valdubón team welcomes visitors warmly. In addition to regular wine tastings (offered Monday- Saturday 12pm), book ahead for their ‘Riberas and cheese’ tasting, which matches local cheeses,with 3 wines.
Or try the ‘Riberas and Chocolate’ for pairings of 3 wines with locally made chocolates. ‘Experiencia Valdubón’ is a chance to enjoy Castilian hospitality, with traditional recipes at lunch, matched with Bodegas Valdubón wines. www.valdubon.com
Try seven wines from Bodegas Valdubón
Bodegas Valdubón Verdejo 2015
A complex Verdejo, revealing just what Verdejo can achieve. Says Aladro: ‘I wanted to make a top Verdejo, with a touch of oak. 40% of the wine has just 4 months in barrel’. As a result there are delicate aromas of fennel and citrus. In the mouth, there’s a lively freshness, fine texture, and a rich finish. While the oak is present it does not mask the fruit.
Bodegas Valdubón Tempranillo 2016
A bright, youthful, sunburst of Tempranillo, a generous mouthful of cherries. In summer, serve it cool. Says Aladro, ‘It’s like my favourite child in the winery. But it’s the most difficult to produce. We need to start picking at 4 in the morning to capture all that lovely fruit aroma.’ £10 Ocado
Bodegas Valdubón Tempranillo Roble 2016
A vivid cherry colour, with equally vivid aromas of cherries and blackberries with a hint of smokiness. The palate is gloriously ripe, finishing with a gentle rasp of tannin. £12 Marks & Spencer
Bodegas Valdubón Crianza 2014
A careful selection of vineyards provides the fresh fruit that underpins this structured, spicy Crianza with a very long finish. The bright dark cherry fruit is counterbalanced by ageing in mainly American oak with some French. £15 Ocado
Bodegas Valdubón Reserva 2011
An excellent vintage. Fine cedar aromas are followed by rich dense dark cherry fruits, polished by a blend of new and older barriques. Will develop well over 5-10 years. The Reserva’s ageing capacity was proved by a tasting of 2007 and 2004. 2007, at 10 years old, is still lively and energetic, though should be drunk soon. 2004 was an excellent vintage and so it has proved in the bottle. Still boldly aromatic with fine cedar on the nose, the palate is well matched blend of powerful fruit with dense oak. After 13 years, this Reserva shows a fine equilibrium. £20-25 Ocado
Bodegas Valdubón Diez, 6th edition
First launched for the winery’s 10th anniversary; blended by 10 guests. Since 2010, has been a cross vintage blend. This 6th edition blends vintages 11, 12 and 13. A full bodied, rich wine, with a lift of stone fruit freshness and a lingering savoury, cedar note, underscored by tannin. £30-35 Limited availability at Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, and a special Christmas parcel at Ocado.
Bodegas Valdubón Honoris Valdubón 2012
The flagship, from old bush vines, fermented in French oak vats. A dense, dark, spicy wine, with the oak well-balanced by the intensity of old vine fruit. Blueberry, cherry, mocha, cinnamon and liquorice – a wine to cellar for 5 -10 years. £40-45 Limited availability at Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, and a special Christmas parcel at Ocado.
Meet winemaker Javier Aladro at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounterthis November.
Translated by Liu Xiang / 留香
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