Barco de Piedra
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"Barco de Piedra” refers to the nickame of the Castle of Peñafiel, the “stone ship” fortress constructed in the 10th century that still stands guard over the Valladolid province. Perhaps more famous these days are the region’s wines, and Barco de Piedra is an affirmation of the beauty and purity of the Tempranillo grape when grown in the extreme conditions of DO Ribera del Duero. Locally known as Tinto Fino or Tinta del País, this grape can sometimes be distorted by producers who like to use excessive “make up”: too much new oak or jammy extraction. The logic behind Barco de Piedra is simple: Tempranillo grown in Ribera del Duero has abundant natural tannin that speaks for itself without seeking style points. The three parcels that produce Barco de Piedra are located on the hillside of the Quiñón Estate. Black raspberry and violet aromas with rose petal, blueberry and mineral notes make this wine a delight to drink. Barco de Piedra is one of the prettiest examples of the elegance and structure of Ribera del Duero, one of the great wine regions of the world.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This is a “no makeup” take on Tempranillo, grown in a single vineyard in the most prestigious district of Ribera del Duero. 100% estate fruit, and small production. The vineyard is located 1.5 km north of the Duero River, 7 km east of the legendary Vega Sicilia and 4 km west of Pesquera. With minimal oak ageing, the wine shows depth yet drinkability even while young, and does a very great job introducing this legendary region to new fans.
2019 91VM; 2018 91 'Best Buy' W&S; 2016 92JS; 2014 90 VM; 2012 90RP
100% Tempranillo (Tinto Fino). Sustainably grown vines planted in 2000. Tended in clay and limestone soil at 732-975 m (2,400-3,200 ft) elevation
Two approaches work very well: Tempranillo’s ripe fruit naturally compliments the sweeter meatiness of pork and veal. On the other hand, Ribera del Duero produces very robust and tannic reds, usually showing a black fruit and mineral character that is a better match with rare beef than any California Cabernet or Zinfandel. For simple fare, aged hard cheeses like Manchego, Spanish almonds, Sevilla olives and crusty bread are rustic and classic accompaniments.
VINIFICATION AND AGING:
During harvest, the best bunches are selected. After de-stemming and crushing, the unfermented juice rests with the skins for 2-3 days at cool temperatures. Cold fermentation takes 11 days, and extended post-fermentation maceration is carried out for another 8 days. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged for 4 months in 300-liter 85% French and 15% American oak barrels that are 3 years old.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The vineyards of El Quiñón, a single estate of 72 hectares (178 acres), are located in the heart of the western district of Ribera del Duero; 1.5 km north of the Duero River, 7 km east of legendary Vega Sicilia and 4 km west of Pesquera. The soils are 90% limestone and 10% sandy clay near the surface. The cool nights and hot days of this vineyard, located in the western area of Ribera del Duero, result in berries with thicker skins. Of the two main areas in Ribera, the western area is lower in elevation, has slightly more moderate temperatures and consistent quality because it is not as exposed to frost like the eastern side. Ribera del Duero's cooler nights bestow abundant aromas, vibrant freshness and great expression of fruit.
Heady smoke- and spice-accented dark berry and cherry aromas, with hints of game and violet emerging with air. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering gently sweet blackberry and cherry flavors and repeating smokiness. Shows very good heft and power on the clinging finish, which features smooth tannins and a hint of peppery spices.