Vega Sicilia, Valbuena 5 Tinto 2016

Vega Sicilia

2016
Ribera Del Duero

"The 2016 Valbuena was produced with a blend of 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Merlot from 140 hectares dedicated to this wine. It fermented with indigenous yeasts, and the first year it matured in barrels (75% French, 25% American) and the second year in large oak vats. This is again a floral and elegant vintage of Valbuena, very much in line with what has happened in the best vintages since 2010. 2016 is going to be a wine that the public is going to like; it has an extroverted personality and is perfumed and generous, juicy and tasty and nicely textured, with fine-grained tannins and very focused and clean flavors. 2016 was a year of very good freshness in Ribera del Duero, a year they like even better than 2018. 182,882 bottles, 6,030 magnums and a few larger formats were produced. It was bottled in June 2019."
Luis Gutierrez - The Wine Advocate

Producer
Variety
Tempranillo
Alcohol-abv
14.5%
Reviews

Robert Parker 96 Points

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£115.50

Ratings

96 Points Robert Parker

Ribera Del Duero

Ribera Del Duero

Ribera del Duero lies within Castilla y León in North Central Spain. Within its borders lie 4 distinct municipalities, including Burgos, Soria, Segovia and Valladolid. This wine-region is located on the elevated northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula at 800 meters (2800ft) above sea level. Ribera del Duero means "bank of the Duero", and the river indeed divides the region. It also provides the local vineyards with a much-needed water supply. The river also provides neighboring Portugal with it's premier wine region as it changes its name to Douro and flows through the eponymous valley, the home of Port and Portugal's best red table wines.

The terroir here is relatively diverse, more diverse than that of Rioja. Soil types include both chalk and clay, along with intermittent layers of silt and limestone. All of which aid in producing very fine and soft mineral flavors detectable in most wines from Ribera.

Ribera del Duero was not awarded DO status until 1982. This is despite a long history of winemaking, centered on the leading local producer, Bodegas Vega Sicilia. Today, Ribera del Duero is almost entirely devoted to red wine. Tempranillo is the most widely planted grape variety, known locally either as Tinto Fino or Tinta del Pais. It produces wines which are deeply colored, with a firm tannin structure and complex aromas of dark fruit. Most of the top examples age gracefully for years.

According to DO regulations, Tempranillo must make up a minimum of 75 percent of all vinos tintos (red wines). The balance is usually made up mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. These are all varieties that were introduced by Vega Sicilia more than a century ago. Up to five percent of Albillo or Garnacha is also permitted. Garnacha is used for most rosé wines. Albillo is the only white grape with vines planted in Ribera del Duero. It produces wines for local consumption that don't qualify for the Ribera del Duero DO title. It can also be used in tiny quantities as a softener for heavy reds.

The aging requirements used for Ribera del Duero match those of the Rioja denomination. Crianza red wines must be matured for at least two years, with 12 months in oak. Reserva wines are aged for at least three years, with one in oak. Gran Reserva wines must be aged for five years before release. two of which must be spent in oak.

Spain

Grape vines have been grown on the Iberian Peninsula since at least 3000 B.C., although it was not until 1000 B.C. that winemaking began here in earnest – a skill brought by Phoenician traders from the eastern Mediterranean. Today, Spain is home to more vines than any other country on Earth, and has a national wine output exceeded only by France and Italy.

All seventeen of Spain's administrative regions (communidades autónomas) produce wine to some extent, including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands. The greatest concentration of vineyards is in Castilla-La Mancha, but the finest and most famous wines come from Galicia (Rias Baixas), Catalonia (Cava and Priorat), Andalucia (Sherry), Castilla y Leon (Rueda, Toro and Ribera del Duero) and of course Rioja.

Geography and climate together play a fundamental role in defining Spain's many wine styles. From cool, green Galicia and the snow-capped Pyrenees in the north, via the parched central plateau, to sandy, sunny Andalucia in the south, the Spanish landscape is very diverse. The country spans seven degrees of latitude (36°N to 43°N), leaving 500 miles (800km) between its Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.

The key red-wine varieties, in order of acreage, are Tempranillo, Bobal, Garnacha and Monastrell. The leading white-wine varieties are Airen, Viura/Macabeo and Palomino and Albarino. 'International' varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are becoming more and more popular in Spain, and their plantings are rising in various Spanish regions. Along with the most popular varieties, there are regional specialties, such as Hondarrabi Zuri in the Basque Country, Marmajuelo in the Canary Islands and Zalema in Andalucia.