The unbelievable smells of thick steaks cooking over a wooden hearth fueled by grapevines encourage drool to kind on the company’ mouths as they eagerly wait in anticipation for a meal of a lifetime. The big centuries-old kitchen had festive Spanish music enjoying within the background because the multi-course meal with free-flowing wine introduced everybody alongside a journey that was a magical eating expertise. All the nice issues in life might be loved in a single place, the house of a winemaking household who have been additionally restaurateurs who liked nothing greater than to host folks of their historic household dwelling tucked away in a tiny city within the Spanish wine area of Ribera del Duero.
Though Ribera del Duero is a widely known wine area, some elements of the realm are much less identified than others, reminiscent of the place the Sanz household has their Bodegas Severino Sanz vineyard within the small city of Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela, which solely has round 100 residents and one different vineyard within the city. The vineyard is run by three brothers who named it after their father, Severino Sanz, and never solely does everybody within the household work arduous to maintain the vineyard and historic household dwelling going whereas juggling different jobs however they’ve additionally taken on the accountability of recovering monumental historic olive oil presses which can be a part of the legacy of the realm in addition to persevering with the laborious process of propagating previous bush Tempranillo vines through the use of the normal “layering” approach of their vineyards.
Tempranillo Grape Selection
Tempranillo is a local purple grape from Spain that takes on totally different native names in varied Spanish wine areas. In Ribera del Duero it’s both referred to as Tinto Fino or Tinta del País. The variations in names replicate how the range has taken on barely totally different traits over centuries as a result of affect of its setting. Ribera del Duero is a way more excessive grape rising place, versus its well-known neighbor Rioja, as swings in temperatures could be fairly intense and it will probably get brutally chilly there with frost points. Attributable to such situations, the Tempranillo grapes in Ribera del Duero usually have thicker skins and a extra intense focus of flavors.
Identical to Rioja, Ribera del Duero has blended small quantities of different native purple varieties into their purple wines. But, in contrast to Rioja, Ribera del Duero has a protracted historical past of utilizing purple Bordeaux varieties reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was considered at one time that Tempranillo wanted some assist from Bordeaux varieties to make high-quality wines that would compete on the identical stage as the highest Bordeaux wines. But there have been well-known producers reminiscent of Pesquera who’ve championed 100% Tempranillo wines in Ribera del Duero; nevertheless, it hasn’t been as straightforward for lesser-known struggling wineries within the space. However right now, there may be definitely now a robust dedication even amongst these struggling producers as many have come to the perspective that no different grape can do in addition to Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero, Spain.
The Sanz household, who runs Bodegas Severino Sanz, really takes their dedication to preserving the soul of Ribera del Duero Tempranillo alive through the use of the arduous “layering” approach. Grapevines can asexually reproduce and so if one buries a shoot coming off of an present previous bush vine proper subsequent to it within the floor, the buried shoot will be capable of develop roots from the buds dormant in that shoot. By means of time, a vine, which will likely be trellised as a bush vine, will develop and be an extension of that previous vine. The mom and the brand new daughter vine (produced from the mom’s shoot) will keep related, or typically producers like to chop the “wire”, however Bodegas Severino Sanz likes to maintain them related so long as they’ll.
The brand new vines are referred to as murón and therefore why Bodegas Severino Sanz calls their wines “Murón” because it represents their dedication to preserving the DNA of the previous vines alive for generations to come back. Beginning with their 2018 classic, they started to make use of 100% Tempranillo as an alternative of inserting a small quantity of 5% Garnacha, as they now really feel there may be nothing higher than the Tempranillo from their vineyards.
One other multi-generational producer, Bodegas S. Arroyo, situated within the coronary heart of Ribera del Duero in Burgos, has seen over time that no different selection adapts as properly to the intense weather conditions in Ribera del Duero as Tempranillo, as it’s a grape that many really feel has been within the space for 1000’s of years although it has solely been appreciated in latest occasions. All of their purple wines are comprised of 100% Tempranillo which is a robust assertion as one of many household house owners, Iker Ugarte, is the present president of ASEBOR, an affiliation of Ribera del Duero wine producers.
A vineyard in one other identified space of Ribera del Duero, Valladolid, referred to as Bodegas Señorío de Bocos, nonetheless has a small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot planted of their vineyards which they plan to replant to Tempranillo since all of their wines are solely 100% Tempranillo now.
Worldwide Grape Varieties
However regardless of the enthusiastic embrace of 100% Tempranillo wines, nobody can deny that Ribera del Duero has some previous, legendary plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. One of many best wine estates on this planet is situated in Ribera del Duero, Bodegas Vega Sicilia, and Bordeaux varieties are part of their unbelievable historical past so there are nonetheless previous Cabernet Sauvignon and previous Merlot vines on the Vega Sicilia property that make-up solely a tiny portion of the mix of their iconic Unico and Valbuena 5 respectively.
A boutique vineyard referred to as Bodegas Finca La Capilla, which values the distinctiveness of every of their Tempranillo vineyards situated within the coronary heart of Ribera del Duero, has saved an acre of previous Merlot vines near their vineyard nonetheless in manufacturing. It solely makes a tiny quantity however they stated that their prospects like it as it’s a very advanced, elegant wine with an excellent construction that completely expresses that plot and it sells out faster than they’ll make it. And so, though they’re large advocates for the good affinity for Ribera del Duero terroir that Tempranillo expresses, this small plot is finest represented by 100% Merlot.
Legacy of a Place
One can not assist however be in awe when observing the lengths the Sanz household goes to in an effort to maintain the torch lit that retains the legacy of their tiny city going, as most of the youthful persons are shifting to larger cities with extra alternatives. Whether or not it’s the unearthing of 100-year-old olive oil presses or hand layering previous bush vines to allow them to propagate a toddler vine as near the mom’s DNA or creating an unforgettable night time for these guests who drive out to the center of nowhere to see them, it’s all about preserving an exquisite lifestyle thriving.
One can not assist however observe that nothing makes the Sanz household happier than bringing pleasure to others – as all of it means nothing to them if the surface world can not expertise the paradise of meals, wine, historical past and unbridled conviviality that the Sanz household retains alive.
Bodegas Severino Sanz
2021 Bodegas Severino Sanz ‘Murón’ Rosado (Rosé), Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Enjoyable aromas of dried watermelon and wildflowers with brilliant purple cherry and good mid-palate weight.
2018 Bodegas Severino Sanz ‘Murón’ Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Aged in French oak for 12 months adopted by 5 months in bottle. Deep, darkish blackcurrant flavors with hints of earth and cumin with comfortable tannins and a contact of vanilla on the end.
Bodegas S. Arroyo
2021 Arroyo, Rosado (Rosé), Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Trace of white pepper on the nostril with cherry candies and recent strawberries on the palate.
2019 Arroyo, Roble, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Roble notes that it’s a younger wine that hasn’t spent an excessive amount of time ageing. On this case, it has spent 4 to 6 months in a mixture of American and French oak adopted by eight months in bottle. American oak and Tempranillo have had a protracted and great partnership in Spain. A savory nostril reminiscent of cured meats and dried thyme is balanced by blackberry fruit and hints of baking spices.
2018 Arroyo, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Crianza is the subsequent stage up in ageing and, on this case, spends 12 months in a mixture of American and French oak adopted by 12 months in bottle. Bacon bits, cumin and dusty earth on the nostril with a contact of extra texture and construction with sandalwood incense on the end.
2016 Arroyo, Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Reserva is the subsequent stage in ageing after Crianza, and so on this case, it’s aged for 15 months in American and French oak adopted by 24 months in bottle. Dried leaves, cinnamon and candy tobacco on the nostril with black cherry and espresso flavors on the full-bodied palate with well-integrated tannins.
2012 Arroyo, Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Gran Reserva is the subsequent stage after Reserva, and on this case, it has been aged for twenty-four months in a mixture of American and French oak adopted by 36 months in bottle. Intriguing nostril with smoldering earth, brilliant purple cherry fruit, cocoa nibs and forest ground – actually advanced but has a phenomenal lifted purity of fruit among the many complexity.
2014 Arroyo ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’ Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. The ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’ is a particular choice from a prime classic aged 100% in new Allier French oak for 14 months. Brooding darkish fruit on the nostril with a richer physique with licorice and darkish chocolate flavors wrapped up in plush blackberry fruit.
Bodegas Señorío de Bocos
2020 Bodegas Señorío de Bocos, Roble, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Greater than six months in 50% French and 50% American oak. Blackberry preserves and candy spice on the nostril and exquisite purple fruit on the palate with spherical tannins.
2016 Bodegas Señorío de Bocos, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Greater than 12 months in 30% French and 70% American oak adopted by greater than 24 months in bottle. Dried herbs and cumin seeds with damaged rocks and candy black cherry fruit with a slight grip to the tannins.
2015 Bodegas Señorío de Bocos, Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. Greater than 18 months in 30% French and 70% American oak adopted by greater than 36 months in bottle. Blackcurrant jam with advanced notes of recent leather-based and bacon grease with a nimble physique and tremendous tannins.
2019 Bodegas Señorío de Bocos ‘Autor de Bocos’ Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Tempranillo. ‘Autor de Bocos’ is a particular choice bottling. Greater than 14 months in 100% French oak adopted by greater than six months in bottle. Multilayered fruit that features purple and black wild berries with a juicy, plush palate with hints of vanilla bean and tobacco and violets on the end.
Bodegas Finca La Capilla
2020 Bodegas Finca La Capilla, Merlot, Ribera del Duero, Spain: 100% Merlot. Solely round 6,000 bottles made. One sip and one realizes why they saved this Merlot plot as it’s merely an excellent wine. Dripping with magnificence and finesse, this wine enchants and seduces with pristine blackberry and blueberry fruit, hints of damaged limestone, pencil shavings and recent porcini mushrooms that has a shocking texture, like tremendous lace, and an important precision throughout the very lengthy end.