2006 Bodegas Penalba Lopez Ribera del Duero Carravid

Hello friends. Today’s offer checks a lot of boxes. It’s beautiful Spanish Tempranillo from a terrific region (check); nearly a decade past vintage, it’s smack in the middle of its peak drinking window (check); it comes to us as an exclusive (check); and it comes with a significant price drop (check).

We pwned (that’s “power-owned” for those of us over the age of 30) a sample bottle of this Carravid in the warehouse recently, and it wasn’t long after that tasting that the entire remaining stash of this in the country (it was an east coast parcel) was heading west towards our warehouse on a truck. I wanted to get greedy and take the entire remainder because this is such a rare opportunity. I don’t know about you, but I hardly ever see mature Ribera offered at all, let alone at a discount (from a release price of $28).

Ribera del Duero is probably the second best-known region in Spain after Rioja. It sits here, in Spain’s northern plateau. The Duero river eventually flows into Portugal, where it is called the Douro, the famous river of the Port houses, that eventually drains into the Atlantic in the city of Porto. Ribera is one of the twin hearts of Tempranillo in Spain (it’s called Tinta del Pais in this neck of the woods), and although there is frequently a little Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon blended in, today’s wine is blended with the more traditional Garnacha and Graciano.

Vinuous/Tanzer’s IWC (Josh Raynolds): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90+pts.” As usual with Tanzer and his point-reticent colleagues, I’m more focused on the tasting note here. And few things make me happier than seeing a review where the author says “this should be held for another couple of years,” and we’re now more than six years after that review was published.

The Carravid project is a terrific one, and fans of Washington’s Tulpen Cellars should pay attention here, because the story is similar. Is Miguel Angel Peñalba the Kenny Hart of the Ribera?  Miguel’s main gig is as a vineyard manager. He began making his own wine in the mid-2000s, from vineyards he farms that he finds particularly interesting. For example, the Tempranillo here comes from a 60-year-old vineyard that yields less than one ton per acre (yes, I’d call that particularly interesting). This wine spent about a year in barrel, all French, half new. It clocks in at 14.5% listed alc, and it kicks off with a wonderfully mature Tempranillo nose: mushroom and leather and demi-glacé comingling with deep black fruits, loads of slatey minerals, and dustings of cocoa powder. Endlessly complex and compelling, the nose gives way to a rich, intense palate, with a mix of fresh and dried fruits and continuing savory/earthy/mineral tones. It’s a killer, in peak drinking form and a wonderful expression of modern Ribera. What a pleasure bringer!

The entire remaining stash is on the way, but it’s not particularly large. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in less than a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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