Cruz de Alba 2005

Cruz de Alba 2005Here is a pleasing wine from Ribera del Duero along more traditional lines.  A blend of mostly Tempranillo with a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the 20+ year old vines in Pagos Valderío. Shown through some new French and American oak for the required 12 months, then off to market. From what I can work out, this is a venture of the Riojan house Ramon Bilbao.

I often wish that there were more wines from Ribera del Duero available in Australia. Relatively cheap and good wines from this region are rare. This one is a case in point. While it’s a good wine, and in the scheme of things it’s reasonably priced when compared to similar wines from the region, you could get something just as impressive from other regions in Spain for about half the price. And there is some of that horrible weed, Cabernet in there as well. While it’s traditional for the region, I’m not a fan of adding Bordeaux varieties with Spanish ones. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare.

Wild, brambly fruit on the nose with plenty of volume and depth. It’s an aromatic puppy, wood and spice, herbs and liqorice, a touch of green capsicum and pencil shavings. Medium to full bodied in the mouth with some lump tannins that should smooth out in time. The balance is good and the length moderate. Plums, cherries and spice on the palate, with a sprinkle of gamey, animal notes and herbs. I tucked into a midweek steak with this, and it worked like a charm. 90+ Pts.

Source: Broadway Liquor Distributors Price: $50 Closure: Conventional Cork