Bodegas la Horra, Corimbo, DO Ribera del Duero, Castilla y Leon, Spain, 2011
Ribera del Duero
This DO is for reds and rose only, lying at about 800m altitude, on complex soils. A continental climate, where in high summer the diurnal variation can reach 20C. The wines show plenty of acidity, intense colour, fruit and flavours. Irrigation is common – to maintain quality. Vega Sicilia was the vanguard producer, demonstrating that fine wine could be made here, others have followed. Some producers blend from different vineyards, to create complexity from the undulating landscape with varying exposures. Permitted varieties in the blend are tempranillo (aka tinta fina or tinta del pais) at least 75%, with cabernet sauvignon, grenache, malbec and merlot, and the white albillo. Ageing regs are as for Rioja. Elevation to DOC was proposed, but nobody wanted it.
This wine: lot no. L-C-1110, varietal tinta del pais (aka tempranillo), aged for 20 months in unspecified age oak barrique, lightly coated natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Hard to Find Wines, £18.50 (10/17)
Consumer tasting note: a mature rich spicy toasty black berried nose, a little creamy, with black cherry, dark plum jam and black liquorice; medium-full bodied, tannins a touch drying so suitable for rich red meat stews, with black currant coming through, along with cinnamon, black cherry and black liquorice. Finishes medium. Decant for 30 minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity garnet, showing tears, and a small quantity of solid sediment.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of a meaty waxy lactic-edged melange, cinnamon, low-key toast, ever so slightly high-toned waxy black berry with an edge of richer black cherry, hint of cedar, dark plum jam, black liquorice.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of ripe black cherry, spicy cinnamon hints, touch of black currant, touch of sweet oak, black liquorice. A medium length with a clean waxy sweet oak black fruited finish, with moderately drying tannins on the end.
Quality: good, tannins remain a little grippy in this fully developed wine, otherwise along with acidity the balance with alcohol is fine; decent intensity throughout, slightly less concentration; showing moderate complexity, with evidence of time in wood and bottle, with spicy toasty notes and a waxy meaty dimension, respectively. Follows into a slightly disappointing length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing – drink up now, the tannins are starting to poke through a little, though there remains a pleasant rich black fruit and liquorice element which acts as a foil.