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vina pedrosaThe wines of Ribero del Duero, part of the Castilla y Leon region north of Madrid, tend to be sturdy and tough with an uncompromising backbone, in contrast to the more elegant Rioja.

This wine has gobs of that personality—robust, stalwart and vigorous—but is made in a more approachable, modern style. Distinct black cherry and leather, on a bed of freshly-turned earth with back notes of smoke—an interesting, changeable nose that shows different aspects as you revisit. The vanilla, which in some traditional Ribera wines can be overpowering, is nicely integrated residing comfortably in the background.

The palate opens big with dark fruit and leather, thins out in the mid-palate when the acidity kicks in and then reveals hints of cocoa on a medium-plus body. Chewy tannins support a spicy, medium-length finish. The high acidity plays with the grain in the tannins to give it a rustic profile that will make you long for back-country honesty.

100% Tempranillo, aged 18 months in the barrel and 6 months in the bottle before release.

Like a force of nature,  it won’t charm you with finesse but when you drink, you know you’ve had a memorable experience. Lip-smacking good.

Drink with some tough Texas rock from Alejandro Escovedo “Sally Was a Cop”

Score: 89

Price: $24

Alc: 14%

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