Like Rioja, Ribera del Duero’s major grape is Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino in Ribera. And like Rioja, its wine is made to age long and well. But while the two wines share similarities, Ribera, whose vineyards stretch along the Duero River, has its own individuality. Although many vintners make their Ribera with 100 percent Tempranillo, the law allows them to use a minimum 75 percent, blending the rest with Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.
The first great winery, Vega Sicilia, opened in Ribera del Duero in 1864, but the region did not begin to catch up until 1972 when Alejandro Fernández established his winery, Tinto Pesquera. Today, Pesquera and Vega Sicilia are considered among Spain’s finest wines.
At a recent tasting of Ribera del Duero wines, I began with those of Alejandro Fernández, both 100 percent Tempranillo. Tinto Pesquera 2009 ($30) is a deep-shaded, bright wine evoking a basket of spices with a whiff of licorice. Pesquera Reserva 2008’s ($55) color is deeper still with an intense, complex aroma of spice and dark fruit and a satiny texture.
Vega Sicilia’s Valbuena 2006 ($130–190) presented a medley of cinnamon, clove, blackberry and tobacco on the nose, a sturdy spine and long finish.
Vega Sicilia produces its Unico Gran Reserva only in particularly good harvests, about once every two or three years. The 2000 ($300 and up) has a complex nose, good acidity and depth of flavor coalescing into a well-structured, elegant wine.
Tasty Ribera, however, need not be expensive. PradoRey, for instance, offers its Reserva 2006, a smoky, inviting wine, for $25 and its deep-flavored Elite Tinto 2005 for $35. Bodegas Cepa 21 produces two 100 percent Tempranillo Riberas: Hito 2008 ($20) is ruby-shaded, youthful, fruity and well-balanced while Cepa 21 2007 ($23) is a bigger, toasty wine. Protos Reserva 2005 ($33) is full-bodied with forceful flavors, while its Gran Reserva 2004 ($56) is intense and complex. Aalta Bodegas y Viñedos 2008 ($45) is a forward, 100 percent Tempranillo wine whose aroma brings up oak and oranges. Hold this one for another year.
Up from a handful in the 1980s, Ribera del Duero now has more than 250 wineries. About 100 import to the United States.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts invites travelers to celebrate the holidays at any of its properties in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There is no time like the present for you to experience a stay at one of these luxury resorts.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
After a two-year hiatus from in-person sporting and outdoor recreation events, the seaside, car-free town of Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, recently announced the return of the annual Tri Las Catalinas, an off-road, multisport triathlon, Feb. 15–18.
Plan a célébration spéciale this holiday season with a stay at a historic French chateau in the Loire Valley. If pipers piping and dancers dancing are part of your dream holiday experience, set your compass for Château de Chambord, where 100 twinkling Christmas trees set a festive tone for Renaissance music and dancing, storytelling, performances, workshops, themed activities and more. Guests can sip mulled wine and nibble on sweet indulgences, or peruse the shops for authentic, artisanal Chambord products crafted from the estate’s own natural resources.
For the 12th consecutive year, Global Traveler recognizes the best of the best in the industry, naming 2022’s Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
What a year 2022 has been for travel! It’s not an understatement to say travel rebounded and surged following the pandemic, and airlines, hotels, travel providers and more are ready and waiting to serve the masses returning to the beautiful art of traveling. As such, we celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2022 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, our 19th year honoring the best of the best in the world of travel. Our countdown to year No. 20 begins now.