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Unearthing Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero landscape |

Hugging the banks of the Duero river in Spain’s northwest, with a range of altitudes and aspects, Ribera del Duero’s patchwork of terroirs is a winemaker’s playground.

The grape that dominates here is Tempranillo, known as Tinto Fino, with producers often blending across different sites to achieve balance and complexity, while others pick from a single vineyard to showcase the uniqueness of an exclusive plot.

Its invaluable old bush vines, making up half of the region’s planted vineyards, add to Ribera del Duero’s distinctive landscape, and to its wines, which are bold, full-bodied and ripe.

Scroll down to see 15 top-scoring Ribera del Duero wines from DWWA 2023

One leading grape variety but an excitingly varied terroir; the option to blend up to 25% of other varieties; diverging traditional and modern winemaking techniques using new French oak, American or both.

With all this going on, the Decanter World Wine Awards results become a helpful guide to discovering the best of the region and its producers’ individual styles.

Tasted and rated blind by leading experts, with tasting notes providing layers of insight into the varied expressions of Ribera del Duero wines, discover below the top-scoring wines from the 2023 competition, with more to search at awards.decanter.com

Unearthing Ribera del Duero: Top-awarded wines to try

Astrales 2019

Platinum, 97 points
£33 Decántalo†
Intriguing and highly concentrated with an abundance of ripe berries and cassis, violets and sweet spice beautifully framed by a robust structure and finely tuned acidity. Very powerful and complete; a long life ahead. Alcohol 15%

Balbás, Tempranillo Reserva 2018

Platinum, 97 points
Enticing fruit and red floral aromas. A modern, muscular style with pronounced ripe tannins and a sweet spicy and toasty character. Will reward patient cellaring and is sure to turn an ordinary meal into a magnificent dinner. Alc 15%

Bardos, Moradillo de Roa 2020

Platinum, 97 points
Demure fruit enhanced by a savoury saline lift. Youthful and firm with mid-palate flesh that humours the brooding tannic profile, and an elegant poise which leaves the mouth refreshed and ready for more. Fabulous. Alc 15%

Pago de los Capellanes, Doroteo 2018

Platinum, 97 points
POA £ Enotria&Coe, POA $ Antalva Imports
A seductive, charming nose combines fruit, oaky spice and violet florals. Vibrant multi-layered palate with sandy, fine tannins and notes of red cherry, blueberry and earth. Long, persistent and appetising. Alc 15%

Alejandro Fernández, Tinto Pesquera Janus Gran Reserva 2018

Gold, 96 points
POA Armit
Bold, spicy nose with coconut oak, red and black fruit. Lively and fresh palate with herbal, floral and orchard fruit notes. A rather heart-stopping wine that encourages contemplation. Alc 14.5%

Cillar de Silos, La Viña de Amalio 2019

Gold, 96 points
£47 (ib)-£74.99 Bancroft, Berry Bros & Rudd, Lay & Wheeler
This wine has been given so much love. It has dense, ripe red fruit and the marked acidity and freshness that give it a welcome drinkability. Long, warm finish. Good ageing potential. Alc 14.5%

La Capilla, Vendimia Seleccionada 2019

Gold, 96 points
£29.99 Fine Wines Direct UK, US$60 Total Wine & More
Super-complex black pepper, floral and dried wild herb nose, with a lick of posh oak. Very rewarding in the mouth with ripe, spicy tannins and excellent length. Alc 15%

Trus, Reserva 2017

Gold, 96 points
US$45-$50 Boutique du Vin, Knows Imports, Kysela Pere et Fils
Graceful with a high-toned, very ripe red fruit nose. Nicely textured in the mouth with well-integrated oak and ripe tannins. Poise and elegance: a well-made, eminently pleasurable example. Alc 14.5%

Bodegas Peñafiel, Dominio de Miros 2018

Gold, 95 points
Vibrant black olive, herbal and red fruit nose. The palate is abundant with fine-grained tannins and layers of ripe fruits, oak spices and earthiness. Long, satisfying finish. Calls for another glass. Alc 15%

Bodegas Santa Eulalia, Conde de Siruela Reserva 2017

Gold, 95 points
POA $ Alphapac Fine Wines
Elegant and restrained aromas of blackberry and plum. Sweet and pure fruit with beautifully slick, ripe tannins, nicely integrated oak and a real lift of acidity. Nicely textured and absolutely delicious. Alc 14.5%

Carmelo Rodero, Pago de Valtarreña 2020

Gold, 95 points
£48.50-£69 H2Vin, Highbury Vintners, JN Wine
Incredibly inviting, multi-layered, expressive umami-laden, black fruit nose with a broad, free-flowing palate structured with refined tannins, well-integrated oak and pure fruit. Very impressive finish. Will improve. Alc 15%

Portia, Summa 2019

Gold, 95 points
POA £ Amber Beverage UK
An accomplished, spicy, oaky red with cedar and juicy black and red berry notes, high acidity and well-integrated oak. It has great mocha persistence and typicity. Exceptional ageing potential. Alc 15.4%

Pradorey, Finca La Mina Reserva 2018

Gold, 95 points
£23.95 C&D Wines, Village Wines, Waud Wine Club
Magnificent black cherry, tea leaf, cocoa and violet perfume. Elegant, round and silky on the palate, with ripe polished tannins, amazing structure and nicely integrated oak. Fruit-driven and persistent finish. Alc 15.5%

Protos, 5 Año Reserva 2016

Gold, 95 points
£35 Vinissimus†
Lead pencil and cola nose. This is a pure, linear and direct fruit-driven style, the palate ripe, juicy, silky and delicious: pristine fruit and delicious with a very long finish. A new Ribera starts to shine. Alc 14.5%

Valdubón, VX Diez NV

Gold, 95 points
£29.95 Jascots, Slurp
A delicious wine with alluring tomato leaf and ripe cherry aromas. Succulent and juicy in the mouth with zippy acidity, well-integrated alcohol, savoury undertones and a long, complex, fresh finish. Very moreish. Alc 14%

Search all DWWA 2023 results

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