The 2011 Viña Magna Tempranillo Crianza (Gold Medal recipient at Europe’s renowned Concours Mundial de Bruxelles) drinks like a first-class Reserva from Ribera del Duero, Spain’s most illustrious Tempranillo appellation, and aptly reflects Viña Magna’s pre-eminence in crafting traditional Ribera del Duero. The wine displays a robe of deep garnet and purple, which makes it appear nearly impenetrable in the glass. Although built for the long haul (10-15 years of a healthy life), the 2011 Viña Magna begins to sing from the glass from the moment it is poured. It offers a deep draught of plum and black cherry fruit, minerals, spice, and well-integrated oak tones to delight the nose. In the mouth, the wine reveals its power and concentration as well as its plush texture and broad palate appeal. Unfolding slowly, revealing layer upon layer of boysenberry, fig, dark chocolate and spicy oak tones, the 2011 Viña Magna Tempranillo Crianza ingratiates itself to the palate before finishing with a bang. There is no lack of tannin or structure in this Ribera del Duero; all is in sync. For optimal enjoyment we strongly suggest decanting the 2011 Viña Magna Tempranillo Crianza Ribera del Duero at least an hour ahead of serving at cool room temperature (59°-64° F). Enjoy!
The 2011 Viña Magna Tempranillo Crianza Ribera del Duero is endowed with considerable flavor and as well as plenty of body, attributes that beg for accompaniments equal to its stature. Hence, we are inclined to save the salads, pizzas, poultry, and tapas for lighter, less robust wines. Instead, consider pairing this traditional Ribera del Duero with regional Spanish fare, the finest cuts of lamb, beef, or pork. Roast Veal or Pork with Black Olive Tapenade and Capers provides an ideal accompaniment. Duck Breast, prepared with a refined blackberry or cherry sauce offers another superb pairing. A thick Herb Encrusted Veal Chop, accompanied by a mushroom risotto, provides yet another sophisticated companion. Spicy bean and lentil dishes make good companions to the full-flavored 2011 Viña Magna Crianza, too. In fact, almost any exemplary fare will be enhanced by Viña Magna’s regal Ribera del Duero. Buen Provecho!
Domino Basconcillos’ Viña Magna marks a return to the traditional style of Ribera del Duero and high altitude organic viticulture that prevailed before the advent of phylloxera and the devastating effects of civil war and economic malaise that prevailed throughout Spain during much of the 20th century. In the late 1990s, Burgos native José Maria Basconcillos went in search of virgin land in Ribera del Duero on which he sought to establish one of Ribera del Duero’s leading organic vineyards. He found precisely what he was looking for in a private hunting property of 125 contiguous acres near Gumiel de Izán where he established Dominio Basconcillos. The property lies at the northernmost extreme of the Ribera del Duero appellation at 3,300 feet of elevation, which makes it one of the highest vineyards in the entire region and in a sector where the first monastic vineyards were planted centuries ago.
Today, Dominio Basconcillos is comprised of a modern state of the art bodega and chateau situated among the estate’s organically cultivated vines. In addition to the estate’s strict organic practices, all grapes are harvested by hand, de-stemmed, and sorted three times before entering the gravity flow process as whole berries. Bordeaux- trained enologist Francisco Barona takes full advantage of the estate’s high altitude vineyard and pure fresh fruit to practice natural winemaking and fashion wines with exceptional concentration, freshness and balance.
After Dominio Basconcillos’ wines have undergone malolactic fermentation, they are aged in oak for varying periods of time, from 6 months to several years in a combination of new and used American and French oak barrels. Each Dominio Basconcillos wine is unique and created with a purpose. The estate’s Seis Meses receives only 6 months in barrel and is meant to be consumed in the first 10 years of life, while Dominio Basconcillos’ Viña Magna selections receive the longest ageing in barrel and constitute the estate’s longest-lived and most illustrious accomplishments. Viña Magna’s Tempranillo Crianza actually qualifies as a Reserva while the estate’s Reserva can rightly claim Gran Reserva status.
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 mesetato 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 meseta to 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 the cadre of astute producers in the zone continues to push the envelope on quality. Moreover, the relative value of the voluptuous red wines of Ribera del Duero is 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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