The youthful 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero (90 Points – James Suckling) quickly reveals its charm, beginning with a deep cherry red and violet-rimmed color as well as tantalizing aromatics. Bright red raspberry and cherry scents waft from the glass to greet the nose. In the mouth, the medium-bodied yet boldly flavored 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero reveals both elegance and concentration as it entertains the palate with a delightful mélange of red fruits, cacao, and dark spices. Supple tannins and a light patina of oak from spending 6 months in American and French oak barrels provide an ideal frame for the wine’s savory notes. For optimal enjoyment, afford the charming, impeccably balanced 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero 10-20 minutes of aeration before consuming at cool room temperature (58°-62° F). Then taste and enjoy the beauty of Arzuaga’s La Planta Ribera del Duero! Anticipated maturity: 2023-2027.
The 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero has the ability to turn a mid-week meal into a special occasion. It’s equally adept at gracing the table at an elegant dinner party. Whether the menu calls for traditional Spanish fare, the finest cuts of lamb, beef, or pork, or simply meat and potatoes or black beans and rice the 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero will stand and deliver. Pork with Black Olives and Capers, a wine panel favorite, provides a splendid accompaniment. Sausage and White Beans with rosemary and wild herbs provides another delicious pairing. Duck Confit makes a fine companion, too. In fact, almost any flavorful dish, including a thick vegetable soup will be enhanced by La Planta’s charming 2021 Ribera del Duero. Buen Provecho!
The 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero makes a wonderful partner to the world’s finest cheeses. Whether a few morsels of a rare artisanal Farmhouse Cheshire, a slice of Spanish Mahon, or a bite of a full-flavored cheese such as a Swiss Appenzeller, a unique cheese replete with an infusion of twenty or more plants and spices, the 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero is the ideal companion. For more information on the world’s finest cheeses, please contact us at www.cheesemonthclub.com.
Florentino Arzuaga, a visionary and a great lover of wine, purchased La Planta in Quintanilla de Onésimo in the heart of Ribera del Duero. Beginning in the early 1990s, he planted vines, built a winery in Valladolid, and began making quintessential Ribera del Duero. Today Arzuaga’s wines are reference points for the Ribera del Duero DO and La Planta is a center of wine education and wine tourism that includes a 5-Star hotel. No wonder the New York Times cited “Arzuaga and Ribera del Duero: among the 52 destinations worldwide recommended to visit…”
Quality is paramount at Arzuaga and the estate’s wines are based on three premises: the soil, the climate, and the orientation of the vineyards. Yet, what is most impressive about La Planta is the integration of local flora and fauna into the sprawling 3,500-acre estate to provide much needed biodiversity for La Planta’s 520 acres of vines. Holm oaks, pines, and juniper cover much of the estate and are home to dear, wild boar, and other indigenous fauna.
Arzuaga’s ecosystem provides the ideal environment for Ribera del Duero’s fabled Tempranillo grape variety as well as for Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Florentino Arzuaga fashions a bevy of wines, including the much acclaimed 2021 La Planta Ribera del Duero (this month’s feature) from 100% Tempranillo vines. The estate also produces an exceptional Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Crianza, which emanates from the oldest part of the La Planta estate.
Located in the heart of Spain in the ancient realm of Castile and León, Ribera del Duero has been a center of wine production for thousands of years. Today, Ribera del Duero remains one of the most important wine regions in Spain, as it is the spiritual home of Tempranillo, Spain’s most venerable red grape variety, and the source of many of Spain’s greatest wines. Here the iconic Tempranillo, also known locally as Tinto Fino and Tinta del País, reaches its pinnacle and demonstrates to the world its inherent virtue.
Ribera del Duero occupies the hills and high meseta to the northeast of the city of Valladolid and stretches out along the Duero River, Spain’s most beloved waterway. Not surprisingly, the region draws its name from the venerable Duero that plays an important role in the region’s terroir. It seems that the soil of Ribera del Duero bears more than a passing resemblance to that of France’s Burgundy, with a wide range of chalk, clay, marl and gravel, combined together in varying degrees of prominence. However, whereas Burgundy’s soil complexity results from plate tectonics, the soil in Ribera del Duero results from the Duero’s erosion through the sedimentary layers of the Castilian meseta. The Duero River may likely play a role as well in moderating the rather harsh continental climate of the region, an area known for its dry, hot summers and cold winters. Add altitude (2,500-3,300 feet) and the intense luminosity of the Spanish mesetato the region’s exemplary terroir, and it becomes apparent that Ribera del Duero possesses all the attributes needed to showcase the beauty of Spain’s quintessential grape variety.
Although Tempranillo provides heart and soul to nearly all the wines of Ribera del Duero, the Denominacion de Origen (DO) does permit small quantities of other grape varieties to appear in the appellation’s red wines, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Grenache. There is, however, no requirement that Ribera del Duero contain any grape other than Tempranillo. Consequently, there is no one magic formula. However, what is certain is that world-wide demand for the great wines of Ribera del Duero will continue to grow as astute producers in the zone continuously push the envelope on quality. Moreover, the relative value of the voluptuous red wines of Ribera del Duero are second to none. Allow the finest red wines of Ribera del Duero a few years in bottle and ample aeration prior to serving, and they will more than handsomely reward the patient imbiber.
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