Ribera del Duero ecological wines at the Green Gastro bar31-05-2023
When I just started in the wine business, one of my best selling wines was from the region Ribera del Duero. So I was very happy to be able to attend a delightful lunch organised by Pitch PR at the Green Gastro Bar in Amsterdam to taste a wide selection of these Ribera del Duero wines.
I had not been to the Green Gastro bar, which opened last year. It is a restaurant with breathtaking views over Amsterdam, with a sky bar and sky rooms located on the 26th floor. The menu is vegetarian and worldly, offering a range of dishes. And for those who enjoy it, they also serve fish and meat as side dishes.
As I stepped into the urban and relaxed ambiance of the restaurant, I was presented a glass of white wine from the Ribera region. Followed shortly by some beautiful amuses.
Ribera del Duero is a wine region in Spain, located in the northern part of the country along the Duero River. Ribera del Duero means "bank of the Duero", and the river indeed divides the region. It also provides the local vineyards with the much-needed water supply. Further west in Portugal the river changes its name to Douro and flows through the eponymous valley, the home of Port and Portugal's best red table wines.The region is known for producing high-quality red wines, primarily made from the Tempranillo grape variety, known locally as Tinta del País or Tinto Fino.
We sat down for lunch and were poured the 1st two powerful Ribera wines. Karel Klosse from the Echoput was our master of ceremony and he shared with us the unique details of his favorite region. It was during these visits that Karel discovered the magic of Ribera del Doura wines. Also I remember vividly the first sip of the deep red Tempranillo, bursting with flavors of blackberries and hints of vanilla. That moment sparked also for me a lifelong fascination with the wines of the region.
As you probably know, Ribera del Duero wines are renowned for their bold and robust character. They often exhibit deep, intense flavors of dark fruits such as blackberry and plum, along with notes of spice, tobacco, and oak. The wines from this region typically have good structure, firm tannins, and aging potential.
It produces wines which are deeply colored, with a firm tannin structure and complex aromas of dark fruit. Most of the top examples age gracefully for years.
The Denominación de Origen (DO) Ribera del Duero was established in 1982 to regulate and protect the quality and origin of the wines produced in the region. It is considered one of the top wine regions in Spain, alongside Rioja. According to DO regulations, Tempranillo must make up a minimum of 75 percent of all vinos tintos (red wines). The balance is usually made up mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. These are all varieties that were introduced by Vega Sicilia (yes, the one and only) more than a century ago.
We were served two Ribera wines with each course, the next being a courgette based dish, which looked so pretty and tasted even better. The dish was carefully crafted to complement the wines.
Karel Klosse shared stories of the winemakers and the unique terroir of Ribera del Duero, a region in Spain renowned for its exceptional wines.
With each new glass, I discovered the incredible diversity within Ribera del Duero. From the bold and robust Tempranillo varietals to the more elegant and refined expressions.
While Ribera del Duero is known for its traditional winemaking practices, an increasing number of producers are embracing organic and biodynamic viticulture. They recognize the importance of sustainable farming and its potential to enhance wine quality and express the unique terroir of the region. The winemakers' dedication and passion are evident in every sip.
As the lunch progressed, so did the conversation and we marveled at the magic of these wines. The atmosphere was fueled by the shared appreciation for the art of winemaking.
The aging requirements used for Ribera del Duero match those of the Rioja denomination. Crianza red wines must be matured for at least two years, with 12 months in oak. Reserva wines are aged for at least three years, with one in oak. Gran Reserva wines must be aged for five years before release. two of which must be spent in oak.
By the time we reached the eighth and final wine, a velvety Reserva with a lingering finish, I felt a sense of gratitude to Pitch PR for this extraordinary experience. The lunch had not only delighted my taste buds but had also deepened my understanding and love for Ribera del Duero wines.
As the afternoon drew to a close, I left the Green Gastro Bar with a newfound appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into creating each bottle of Ribera del Duero wine.