Social Vignerons’ Interview with Francois Chartier
This wine was made in collaboration with Aurelio Cabestrero, a Spanish wine trader in the United States and wine producer in Sapin (GrapesofSpain.com). Winegrower Isaac Fernandez, nephew of Mariano Garcia (enologist of between other wineries Vega Sicilia and Mauro in the Ribera del Deuro region), was also involved.
The 100% Tempranillo grapes originate from very old vines, between 50 and 70 years old, planted in a typical Ribera del Duero soil made of a sand and gravel subsoil covered in a limestone soil.
The grapes were carefully selected on sorting tables before undergoing a cold pre-maceration to extract aromas and color. ‘Wild fermentation’ with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks followed.
The wine was matured for 10 months in oak barrels (30% new): 75% French oak and 75% American oak.
So how good is this 2013 Ribera del Duero by Sommelier Francois Chartier?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
The wine is of a dark red color. Slightly transparent bright purple red on the rim, black in the center of the glass.
First impressions on the nose are essentially meaty and toasted. Roasted and caralemlised red meat notes melt with dark chocolate and nearly-burnt bread tones. It smells savory, intense, and charming.
Swirl the wine glass a little, and the fruit gets expressed louder in this universe of dark aromas. It’s still dark fruit though: ripe cherry and blackberry. Rich complex spices complement the picture: nutmeg and clove.
The palate surprises by its dominant acidity.
After such a ripe and deep nose, I was brought to expect a rather sweet full-bodied and exuberant wine in the mouth’s texture. But it’s in fact not as overtly ripe and rich as expected. Fine yet granular and drying tannins accompany a solid mineral acidity giving the wine a fresh fruit character.
Spices and oak notes provide the depth. One notices how the oak tannins have been smartly involved to soften the natural drying feel on the grape’s.
A rich and ripe oaky wine, yet that shows its refined European origin through plenty of subtle acidic fruit character and a rather elegant complexity mixing roasted meat notes, with cocoa, spices, and dark red berries.
Solid acidity and a wealth of tannins bring to believe there’s plenty of aging potential in this wine and that the shy fruit notes it holds will live and shine for long with an evolving complexity.
Wine & Food Pairings
As the creator of this wine, Sommelier Francois Chartier suggests, this Spanish wine is a perfect match to “grilled meats and fish, especially red fish, nigella (black cumin), tarragon, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, allspice, smoked chipotle, smoked pimenton, roasted bell peppers, strawberries, cloves, red beets, roasted sesame seeds, ginger and many more.“