January 2013 Selection

The more family-orientated Ribera del Duero

January 2013 Selection

Yotuel Roble 2010 (2 bottles)
López Cristóbal Crianza 2010 (2 bottles)
Valderiz 2009 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £75.21
Club Discount Price: £62.71
You save: £12.51 (16.62%)

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Yotuel Roble 2010 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Bodegas y Viñedos Gallego Zapatero Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo

Bottle: £6.97 club members / £8.08 non-members


On its website the Gallego Zapatero winery says that "Respect for our grapes results in our lovely, characterful wines". Also that "Making a great wine is tantamount to artistry". Whether their wines are great or not will fall to the individual palate to decide, but their fine work is to be admired and their wines are undoubtedly delightful and show great personality, finding favour with all those who have the chance to try them (even down to their labels, simple but with a very cleverly executed design and motif).

This is a small, family-run winery, yet with a deep-rooted tradition in wine growing; they have an in-depth knowledge of their 9 hectares of vineyards, where some of the vines they grow are almost 100 years old, and they are well aware that only from hard work entailing due consideration, effort and perseverance can they ever expect to harvest excellent grapes, of the Tinta del País variety, which are used for making their three ‘parcel’ wines (Valdepalacios, San Miguel and La Nava) and their two ‘coupage’ wines: Selección and Roble.

The distinctive character of their wines comes as the biggest surprise: their Yotuel Selección is notable for its intriguing Bordeaux touch, and their Yotuel Roble, which we are offering here, for its minerality; it is one of those wines difficult to place at a blind tasting and an excellent terroir wine in its price bracket. It comes as no surprise that the quantity produced runs out in no time at all!

This "little number" from Gallego Zapatero is a lively wine, appearing an attractive colour in the glass, clean and bright. It is full-on fruity on the nose (and palate too), pleasant, oily, with spicy notes (pepper) and a definite rustic feel, and it does surprise, as was mentioned before, with its minerality and balsamic notes.

On the palate it is a fruit-forward wine, fleshy, juicy, with sweet notes, rounded, balanced, with good structure and body; an extremely pleasant wine, that finishes with some subtle, polished ageing notes to round off the aftertaste. A wine to pour into the glass, drink and thoroughly enjoy. Cheers!

Rice dishes / cooked sausages / Iberian ham / pasta with bolognese sauce

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 15ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2016.

anverso y reverso
Front and back

López Cristóbal Crianza 2010 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodegas López Cristóbal Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo, Merlot

Bottle: £11.27 club members / £13.09 non-members


When a wine bears the surnames of the producer, the family’s good name would seem to be on the line with every bottle. In the case of the López Cristóbal winery, however, there is nothing to fear: the house’s four progeny, a Roble, Crianza, Reserva and the Selección, not only champion the family’s honour with integrity and great character but also provide the perfect accompaniment to the exceptional Bagús, their single estate wine or ‘vino de pago’. Their trump cards: fine quality grapes, working as a family, and the passion and love they feel for what finally goes to fill each bottle.

Santiago López is very passionate about the countryside and viticulture, and together with his wife Lola Cristóbal and son Galo, he makes these five wines in a style characterised by elegance and genuineness. There is an air of distinction about them all: they are family-produced wines, totally genuine, pleasurable wines that make us feel perfectly at ease.

Let’s take their Crianza as an example. Despite its youth (2010), it exhibits a refined nose. In the foreground there initially appear the aromas acquired from ageing, but allow it time to open up, decant it, and you will notice how all its various charms are revealed. Its elegant fragrance comes through, ranging from intense fruit aromas, of fresh red and black fruit (the wine’s youthful character is clearly evident) to spicy aromas, fresh notes, balsamic, smoky touches; a complex and rounded whole. With some aeration and time in the glass, it also discloses an interesting and quite original earthy background.

On the palate, its velvety texture reveals flavours in keeping with aromas perceived on the nose, and poses the question as to just how much that 5% Merlot contributes to such finesse. It is intense, with a clean, fruit-forward and juicy entry, medium-bodied, and shows a polished tannin structure, offering good cellaring prospects. The refined ageing notes continue well into the aftertaste (coffee, leather).

Definitely an interesting and well-made wine, particularly suitable for enjoying comfortably at home.

Peppered steak / game dishes / barbecues

  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2020.

López Cristóbal Crianza 2010
Front and back

Valderiz 2009 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodegas y Viñedos Valderiz Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo

Bottle: £13.12 club members / £16.43 non-members


Tomás Esteban comes from a family of wine growers and is one of the forerunners of organic farming in the Ribera del Duero; a small area of his vineyards is cultivated using biodynamic methods. The quality of the fruit and the meticulous care in production are guaranteed and this becomes evident merely on opening one of his bottles of wine, such as this Valderiz: an explosion of vigour and fruitiness is a clear indication that we are about to enjoy this wine. (Another point: few wines maintain their vigour and strength of character after two or three days of being opened: Valderiz 2009 certainly does, offering yet further proof of its fine quality.)

Valderiz 2009 is at this point in time a young wine, the result of an excellent harvest, a lively and densely coloured wine, without becoming opaque. It starts off as not especially expressive on the nose, which comes as no surprise from a grape such as Tempranillo, but it gradually opens up with some aeration. It is evidently a wine that needs decanting in order to come into its true self: intense, elegant, very pleasant, rich in ripe fruit aromas, forest fruits, and some Indian ink suggestions on a subtle background of ageing notes (which reappear later with the aftertaste). A fresh and balsamic nose.

On the palate, Valderiz is a wine to be enjoyed for its juiciness and fruit intensity, and although not a precisely complex wine, it is a very pleasant drink; it exhibits spicy notes, especially of sweet spices, polished tannins and good body. A wine that lingers well.

Red meats / cooked sausages / rice dishes / Iberian ham / oven-cooked meats

  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 17ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2020.

Valderiz 2009
Front and back

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