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Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero is one of the greatest Spanish wine regions located in the northern part of the country on the banks of Duero River. Its reputation is iconical for the red winemaking in Spain and has been relatively recently awarded DO status in 1982, although the modern history of the region dates back to 1800s. Here the king is the Tempranillo grape variety under the names Tinto Fino or Tinta del Pais. There are also plantings of Garnacha, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as most of the production is red, with only a modest quantity of Rosado wines made. White wines are not allowed under the DO. The vineyards are mostly situated in the highlands between 750 and 850 metres above sea level. The Ribera del Duero has a very hot climate with temperatures during the day up to 40°C and a drop to 15°C at night. The big temperature fluctuations and the nightly resting phase have a very positive effect on the nutrient assimilation and acidity of the grapes. The maturation laws used for Ribera del Duero is like in Rioja denomination. The red wines called Crianza must be matured for at least two years, with 12 months in oak. The Reserva wines are aged for at least three years, with one in oak and the Gran Reserva wines must be aged for five years before release two of which must be spent in oak. Young and unoaked versions called 'Roble' which tend to have a vibrant, blackberry fruit while the best oak-aged styles of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva show intense, generous fruit with flavours of vanilla and spice, complimented by integrated tannins. Overall, the region boasts great wines with great value for money quality.

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