RIBERA DEL DUERO VINTAGE GUIDE

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Click on each vintage to see what we currently have in stock on our main website:

  • 2015 - The hot and dry conditions of the vintage undoubtedly favored the old vines in Ribera. Hydric stress was the norm, and harvest occurred two weeks earlier than usual. Nitrogen deficiency was a factor in the balance of the wines. The best producers resisted the temptation to over-extract, and their wines show soft tannins albeit high alcohols. The aromatics are extremely expressive, and flavors are clean.

 

  • 2014 - Ideal conditions prevailed throughout the growing season, allowing virtually everyone to make good wines, and many of the best estates to produce truly great bottlings. While many of the top wines are still in cask or bottled and awaiting release, the initial impressions suggest a similar style to 2004, but with a more harmonious balance, thanks to the larger yields.

 

  • 2013 - A season rife with challenges, 2013 truly separated the wheat from the chaff. Conditions were predominantly cool and overcast, but yields became the deciding factor in quality. Producers who allowed their vineyards to proliferate were forced to wait... and wait... and wait, and the grapes failed to ripen before September rains arrived. However, those who culled fruit early in the season saw balanced ripeness at harvest, and fruit was brought in well before the rains. Some truly world-class wines were made, but diligent research is necessary ahead of purchase.

 

  • 2012 - A scorchingly hot vintage, even by the standards of central Spain, Ribera's best producers still managed to craft wines of balance and suitable freshness, thanks to the vines largely shutting down ripening due to hydric stress. Localized showers in August and September also helped to preserve some vibrancy in the final wines, but not all producers benefited equally. With discerning selection, some truly great wines can be had. 

 

  • 2011 - The most significant difference between 2011 and 2012 in Ribera del Duero was that, in 2011, the vines endured prolonged heat and drought, but hydric stress did not take hold, so the fruit continued ripening apace on its way to a record early harvest. The resulting wines are big, powerful, and rich. Finesse and balance are not hallmarks of the vintage, and the wines will be best consumed in the medium term.

 

  • 2010 - All the factors that made it a stellar vintage for nearby Rioja seemed to bless the Duero producers, as well. No severe weather challenges of any kind tested the growers, and for the first time since 2004, high quality is basically uniform across the board. The fruit reached optimum ripeness, but sacrificed not a bit of balance. This is one of the top three vintages for Ribera del Duero in the past 20 years. In 2010, the D.O. showed its finest side.

 

  • 2009 - A scorching heatwave swept the Duero for much of the year, with average temps eclipsing those of the torrid 2003 vintage. A key decision on when to harvest was the critical factor in many producers making some of their finest wines ever. Timely September rains rescued the parched vines, and quantity and quality soared to the finish line. Producers who held off picking until after the rains were handsomely rewarded for the patience and faith. The wines are power driven, but with sound structure for real longevity.

 

 

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