Long time ago, I used to associate Spanish wines with cheap, low quality wines from megastores, something like equivalent of „no name“ floppy disks (if anyone remembers those days). A perfect choice for a student’s budget. A little bit later, Rioja wines joined the selection. Uneven in quality, sometimes perfect but sometimes simply poor. And it went like this until my lovable friend from the US, during our unforgettable meeting in Brussels, has spoken the magic words: Ribera del Duero. And it did not end with just words, we were drinking delicious Ribera in a circle of friends the whole evening, until the waiter informed us that we had drunken his whole reserve. Unfortunately, I did not keep the name of that wine, which I regret till now. Since then, I’ve associated Ribera del Duero with wines that, with a few exceptions, do not disappoint with their quality. And I must admit, I often reach for it, in order to prove myself that I’m right saying that this is my favourite wine region of Spain.

While shopping at Marek Kondrat’s store, which I already mentioned while describing Fairview, I’ve decided to find out what interesting wines from Ribera this nice shop has to offer. Criteria for selection as always: it has to be fruity and heavy. This time the price should be around PLN 50 (12 €). After a short deliberation, the salesman had just one suggestion: Valdecampana.

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The wine is manufactured in Bodegas y Vinedos Recoletas – a vineyard of 47 hectares, which is quite huge. Grapes are harvested manually only. Valdecampana is made exclusively of Tempranillo variety. The wine is aged twelve months in American oak barrels. Being a crianza, it should be aged for another year in a bottle.

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So it’s time for tasting. The wine has a lovely deep ruby colour. Tears are distinct although not very intense. But still, I give it a lot of credit for its colour. Dark fruits can be sensed on the nose. Anyone with better sense of smell should recognize tobacco and vanilla, however I did not succeed. Definitely a pleasant smell. In mouth one can taste well-built wine, properly balanced fruit and barrel. It is quite dense, tannins are distinct but not too harsh.

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In my opinion, it is quite an interesting wine, classic, solid Ribera del Duero. I’d choose it for a dinner of red meat, however during my tasting it matched perfectly with intense in taste cheese. The price is PLN 53 (12,6 €) and  think this wine is worth recommending in this price range. More wines from Marek Kondrat’s store soon.

My rating: