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2016 Bodegas Valduero 'Valduero' Una Cepa

Ribera del Duero, Spain

Regular price $38.99

2016 Una Cepa 96pts
Bodegas Valduero
Ribera del Duero, Spain

$36.99 on 3+ bottles
$38.99 US Low on bottle 1

Variety: 100% Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo)
Vineyard Age: 50+ years.
Irrigation: None (no fat, lazy vines, vines of terroir!)
Vine Cultivation: Low bush.
Yeasts: Indigenous
Barrel Ageing: 18 months in French and American New and Used oak.
Bottle Ageing: 12 months

The bush vines are not irrigated and no chemical fertilizers are used, just sheep manure. Strict pruning is carried out both in winter and in the growing season, and manual harvesting ensures only the best grapes are chosen. This painstaking process means yields are three times as low as with trellis-trained vines cultivated for high production — but the quality of the grapes is sublime. The fruit is usually harvested during the first week of October collected in small 14-kg crates. The grape must is fermented for nine days at controlled temperatures and then macerated with the grape skins for ten more days. The resulting wine is aged in barrels for 18 months and left to stand in the bottle for a further twelve months to achieve a perfect balance between power and elegance.


96pts Decanter
El Valduero Una Cepa has an intense Picota cherry colour and extraordinarily intense aromas. A complex and balanced wine, it offers a perfect blend of fruit and wood with delightful aromas of toast and vanilla, wild red fruit and leather, spices and lavender. Well-structured in the mouth with a perfect combination of alcohol and acidity, it has a fine elegant finish just as you would expect from a splendid example of great Ribera del Duero red wines.

Winemaking: Picked grapes are fermented for 9 days at between 23ºC and 28ºC, followed by a maceration that lasts 10 days. The vines which produce this wine are all low bush. There is no irrigation or use of chemical fertilizer. A strict pruning in winter is followed by a green pruning in June. Picking in all done by hand. The yield is three times less than from trellised vines, giving grapes that are three times superior in quality. The result: from each vine bush or “cepa”, just one bottle of wine is produced.

The name of this wine comes from the low yields per vine.  From each vine bush or “cepa”, just one bottle of wine is produced.  I recently pulled the cork on a bottle of this great wine and I also had tasted it when it first arrived in late 2021.  A few years before that I had the 2011 and thought it was so good and that it reminded me of the style of the best Ribera del Duero producers, the top, top producers in the region.  This is SMOKING good right now (I got a few for myself on the next order coming in)!  I offered this before and I think we are at the tail end of availability, but we have a few cases coming later next week.  The Decanter tasting note below nails it, and it gets even better with air broadening with time in the decanter.  If oak turns you off  or you sneer at its use these days as it’s trendy to do so, you should realize that with this (and other top Ribera) that these wines beg to have some oak on them.  If it’s done right, like it is here, it’s a perfect match as it seamlessly integrates with the other flavors and textural components.

We don't see much, if any, great Ribera del Duero at this price!  We do see some of the best: Vega Sicila, Aguila, Pesquera, Pingus, but the prices are well over the price for this 2016 Valduero Una Cepa.   I am jumping on this one and so should you as the 2016 is excellent.  100% tempranillo, this has great intensity like you get from a Vega Sicilia without weight, density allied with elegance!  A fantastic bottle to pull with a steak or some lamb, or just to impress some friends with a great wine they'll ask, what/who's wine is this?

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