viernes, 5 de abril de 2013

Bodegas de los Ríos Prieto (Prios Maximus) - Ribera del Duero


Bodegas de los Ríos Prieto was established in 2000 in Pesquera de Duero, an area which contains some of the most distinguished bodegas in DO Ribera del Duero because of the top quality grapes it produces. It is situated close to the banks of the Duero River in the province of Valladolid in the autonomous community of Castilla y León. It is family owned and managed with the aim of making classical Ribera del Duero wines. Félix de los Ríos, the founder of the bodega, is a creative man with a great passion for the soil and wine.  In the late 1990’s, he founded his own winery using not only the latest technological advances but also the skills acquired over decades. The state of the art winery has the most modern technological equipment - stainless steel tanks, fermentation by thermal control, climatization and an impressive Crianza building, built 6 metres underground in order to achieve the ideal humidity and temperature conditions (14 degrees and 82% humidity all year round). In 2002, when his son, Javier de los Ríos, joined the winery, they decided to commercialise their wines within the DO Ribera del Duero. The winery currently has 65 hectares of its own vineyards aged up to 100 years old. The 100 year old vineyard, “La Pintada”, belonged to Javier’s grandfather. In the municipality of Pesquera de Duero, Ríos Prieto own 25 hectares of Tinta del País on three different plots - "El Llano" 19 hectares, average 18 year old vines on clayey, gravelly soils. "La Nava" 5 hectares, average 11 year old vines on red, clayey soils, and "Carravilla" 1 hectare, average 20 year old vines on gravelly soil structure. In the municipality of Peñafiel, on a plot known as "Los Cuatro Caminos", there are 2.2 hectares of Tinta del País and Cabernet Sauvignon, average 10 year old vines on chalk and gravel soil. They also own 8 hectares of Tinta del País in the municipality of Manzanillo, average 15 year old vines on clayey, gravelly soil. The vineyards undergo weekly tests from early September to evaluate the ripeness of the grapes - acidity, weight, sugars - with the winemaker, Jorge González, making the final decision on when harvesting should begin. This usually commences by hand in early October and the grapes are carefully transported to the winery in 20 kg boxes in order to avoid any must concentration loss. A second rigorous selection is carried out again by hand on a conveyor table at the winery to ensure the highest possible quality. The bunches are de-stemmed and the grapes with their skins undergo fermentation in stainless steel vats. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is transferred to oak barrels and left to age for the time required for the type of wine to be produced. Ríos Prieto currently produces about 300,000 bottles, which include Young wines 30,000, Roble 150,000, Crianza 100,000, Reserva 15,000 and a Signature wine (Vino de Autor) 5,000. It is the third largest winery in Pesquera de Duero which is only a small village with 500 inhabitants but has 25 wineries. 65% of their production is earmarked for the domestic market, the rest is exported.


- Wine making: Hand-picked, carefully selected 100% Tinta del País from Pesquera’s 40 year old vineyards, aged 6 months in American oak barrels.

- Tasting notes: "Lively, deep gooseberry colour with a touch of deep, violet undertones. Powerful, clean bouquet of cherries, ripe blackberry and blueberry with hints of brioche, mocha, toasted almonds and hazelnuts. These rich red fruit and chocolate notes transfer to a silky smooth, mouth-wateringly juicy rounded palate with soft tannins leaving a fresh aftertaste. Like most Pesquera wines, it will age in bottle for a long time. Best served at 18°C. Ideal with roasted lamb, beef and mature cheeses". burridgewine

Brussels International Wine Competition 2010 - Silver Medal
Guía Peñin 2011- 91 points
Tempranillos del Mundo 2010 - Silver Medal

- Price: £11.00


- Wine making: From their finest 95% Tinta del País and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, aged 13 months in French and American oak barrels followed by 12 months in bottle.

- Tasting notes:
"Dark red-hearted, deep and opalescent with ruby glints evolving into a brick colour. Alluring aromas of mature red fruits, hints of cocoa, violets, white flowers, dried, high-roasted fruits. This Crianza is round and warm in the mouth, full of vibrant red fruit, peppers and herbs, lush, structured and elegant, finely balanced with silky tannins and a lingering, elegant post-taste. Best served at 18°C. Ideal with roast lamb, beef and cheeses". burridgewine

- Price: £16.00


Ribera del Duero is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) located in the country's northern plateau and is one of eleven 'quality wine' regions within the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is also one of several recognised wine-producing regions to be found along the course of the Duero river.

The region is characterised by a largely flat, rocky terrain and is centred on the town of Aranda de Duero, although the most famous vineyards surround Peñafiel and Roa de Duero to the west, where the regional regulatory council or Consejo Regulador for the denominación is based.

Ribera del Duero is home to the world-famous and highly-prized Emilio Moro, Valderiz, Vega Sicilia and Tinto Pesquera wines and is dedicated almost entirely to the production of red wine from the Tempranillo grape.

Ribera del Duero was named wine region of the year 2012 by the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

- History: Wine has been produced in the region for thousands of years, but viticulture as we know it probably arrived in the Ribera del Duero region with Benedictine monks from Cluny in the Burgundy region of France in the twelfth century. Ribera del Duero wine making goes back over 2,000 years as evidenced by the 66-meter mosaic of Bacchus, the god of wine that was unearthed relatively recently at Baños de Valdearados.

Vega Sicilia was established in the western part of Ribera del Duero in 1864, but although that bodega has been long established as Spain's perhaps most notable winery, up until the 1970s the rest of the region did not receive much attention. Most of the other wine production at that time consisted of simple rosé wines from Garnacha produced in the eastern parts of the region. This started to change when Alejandro Fernández founded his bodega Pesquera and started to make red wines from Tempranillo in a more concentrated, full-bodied and fruit-driven style than most Rioja wines of the day, which were then virtually the only Spanish red wines found on export markets. Pesquera was well-received both in Spain and by many international wine critics, and wine-making in the region expanded considerably in the 1980s and 1990s, with many new bodegas being founded. Another important winery from Ribera del Duero is Arzuaga Navarro, established at the begginnig of the 90's. Prestigious Arzuaga Navarro Winery was founded by ambitious and dynamic Florentino Arzuaga, the wine village of Onesimo Quintanilla. There, near the quiet river Duero, Mr. Florentino bought the farm and then slowly turned it into something beautiful that delights the eyes, ears and taste buds of its visitors. His wines are well knowned all over the world from America to Europe and expanding to Asia and the Arabian Emirates.

The Denominación de Origen (D.O.) of Ribera del Duero was founded on July 21, 1982 by an organization of wine producers and growers who were determined to promote the quality of their wines and enforce regulatory standards. Reports that it was set to be upgraded to Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) status in 2008 proved to be unfounded and, as at 2011, it remains a DO and has no plans to change.

Ribero del Duero wines are currently enjoying greater popularity, thanks largely to the considerable interest shown in the area by experienced growers from other regions.

- Geography: The Ribera del Duero is located on the extensive, elevated northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula. It occupies the southern plains of the province of Burgos, extends west into Valladolid and includes parts of Segovia and Soria provinces to the south and east, respectively. As its name suggests, the region follows the course of the Duero river for approximately 115 km upstream from Valladolid and is around 35 km at its widest. The region is located around the younger stretches of the river, which later passes through the nearby Toro and Rueda regions before traversing the famous Portuguese growing areas of Douro and Porto, where it drains into the Atlantic Ocean.

Geologically, tertiary sediments, consisting of gently lenticular layers of silty or clayey sand, alternate with layers of limestone, marl and chalky concretions. The Duero valley, formed during the Miocene period, has a flat, rocky, gently undulating terrain, ranging from 911 m down to 750 m above sea level. The national highway N122 follows the river valley.

The Ribera del Duero has moderate to low rainfall (450 mm per year) and is exposed to quite extreme climatic conditions; long, dry summers with temperatures of up to 40 °C are followed by hard winters during which temperatures may fall as low as -18 °C. There are also marked variations in temperature within each season. The climate is continental and Mediterranean, with more than 2,400 hours of annual sunlight.

Vineyards occupy around 120 km² of the region, most of which are situated in the province of Burgos, with around 5 km² in Valladolid and 6 km² in Soria.

- Production: Wines produced in the Ribera del Duero DO derive almost exclusively from red grapes. The Albillo grape is the only white variety grown, white wines being mostly destined for local consumption. The vast majority of production is dedicated to Tinto Fino (the local name for Tempranillo), the dominant red varietal in the northern half of the Spanish peninsula. Tinto Fino is often, but not always complimented with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot, although the famous Tinto Pesquera, grown by Alejandro Fernández in Pesquera de Duero, is a 100% Tempranillo varietal wine. The introduction of Pesquera's 100% Tinto Fino wine was, at the time, somewhat controversial, as the considered benchmark Vega Sicilia wines traditionally blended Tinto Fino with such Bordeaux varietals as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

There are other similarities between Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Whereas the wines are quite distinctive as a result of significant differences in terroir, both regions produce wines selected for long aging with highly complex vinification procedures, producing intense, extremely long-lived wines emanating from largely limestone soils. Wines are classified as much for their longevity as their grape quality, and Ribera del Duero produces some extremely well-aging wines. The aging requirements for Ribera del Duero are the same used in Rioja. Wines labelled as "Crianza" must age two years with 12 months in oak. "Reserva" wines must be aged at least three years with at least 12 months in oak. The "Gran Reserva" labelled wines must spend 5 years aging prior to release, two being in oak.

The town of Pesquera is particularly noted for its wines and the area around La Horra (another small town in the region) is respected by locals for its consistent quality. Viña Sastre is one of the region's more respected wine producers and the world-renowned Vega Sicilia easily the most famous. Vega Sicilia's more eminent customers include Prince Charles of the British royal family, while Alex Ferguson's favourite wine is Pesquera. Other notable bodegas include, Dominio de Pingus, Bodegas Alion, and Hacienda Monasterio, all of which lie along The Golden Mile, Spain.

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