Probably the most memorable visit of the tour I ran in 2012 based in Valladolid was to Valduero. One of the longest established wineries in Ribera del Duero, on our visit we enjoyed an amazing tour of the winery burrowed into a hillside, culminating in a tasting overlooking the vineyards in the glass fronted tasting room.
Our surroundings were somewhat less salubrious (no offence to the Britannia who did us proud with a dinner of grilled spring onions on romesco sauce followed by a melting pork steak), but the wines were still sublime. Our enjoyment was heightened by the presence of Pedro Foncubertas from the estate.
Pedro engaged us with the passion of the Garcia family who created the estate, and the talents of Yolanda Garcia Viadero, who runs the business. We were left in no doubt that this is a very special estate, and we enjoyed a fabulous line up of wines…
We started with a Blanco de Albillo, the only white wine of the Ribera region, a really fresh, attractive wine made from a grape normally used for blending. A good indication of the quality of wines to come..
We worked our way through the Valduero range: the ‘classic’ Spanish approach of Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva, all 100% Tempranillo (known as Tinto Fino in Ribera), each wine benefitting from more time in barrel and bottle before release. Each wine was lovely, beautifully balanced with soft tannins, elegant fruit and all drinking well now though the Gran Reserva (48 months in French and American barrels, 40 months in bottle) could rest for many years and still be lovely.
We also tasted two ‘special’ Valduero wines –
The Unacepa 2011, named to reflect that each bottle is made from the yield of grapes from a single bush. This wine spends less time in barrel, so is a fresher style but still with lovely weight and complexity.
The 6 Años Reserva Premium 2005, only made in exceptional vintages and benefitting from 36 months in barrel and 36 months in bottle. This was a marvellous example of the power and elegance of these lovely wines.
There were several people at the tastings who had visited Valduero with me, some of whom had invested in our own barrel of Reserva and had returned last year to enjoy a fabulous dinner celebrating its release. We agreed that a return visit couldn’t come too soon.