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Lopez Cristobal, Tinto Roble 2019
Tempranillo, Tinta del Pais, Merlot
Ribera del Duero
A great example of youthful Ribera del Duero from Bodegas Lopez Cristobal, based in the village of Roa, in the east of the region near Burgos. Tempranillo for this wine comes from 20 year old vines on limestone at 770 metres of altitude. A brief spell of 3 months in new French oak lifts the quality of this entry level wine. Five percent of Merlot is added for extra roundness. Deep cherry red colour, aromas of strawberry and forest fruits, freshness, concentration and well integrated oak.
The grape comes from the La Linde estate. The vineyard is around 20 years old and grows at an altitude of 770 metres on muddy limestone soil. The grape harvest is carried out manually, using fruit boxes to transport the grapes so as to maintain the berries in the best condition possible. Once in the winery, the grapes pass over a selection table.
The stellar Lopez Cristobal estate is a relatively new face in Ribera Del Dueros wine scene and has already established a reputation for themselves as a formidable producer of ripe, balanced and stylish reds. Right from the outset, their mission statement has been to craft wines of real class and distinction that move away from the sometimes over-extracted and over-oaked styles once common in this area of northwest Spain. Indeed, the reds produced at Bodegas Lopez Cristobal have a wonderful elegance and purity not often found in Riberas powerful, sturdy wines, predominately made from the Tempranillo grape in the dramatic plains of Spains Castile de Leon region. They are the poster child for the emerging face of Riberas new wave wines powerful, dense yet more balanced and supple than the output of the past. Lopez Cristobal was officially founded in 1994, outside the traditional village of Roa Del Duero by an agricultural engineer and passionate wine advocate, Santiago Lopez. Prior to that date, in the 1980s Lopez had planted some vineyards with the view of someday making wine rather than simply selling his grapes to other wineries. His wife Lola Cristobal, who was from a longstanding family of wine growers, suggested joining forces and so Lopez Cristobal was born. Their combined vineyard holdings allowed the family to invest in a state of the art winery, which was built on the site of the original family farm, started by Lopezs grandfather. After much hard work, investment and perseverance, the family were now ready to pursue their dream of crafting top-class wines in the Ribera region.The family today produce a range of superb reds, from the entry level Roble to their prized super-cuvee Bagus. This 100% Tempranillo wine is a true blockbuster an explosive nose of black fruit, chocolate and spice are matched by an equally powerful and structured palate. But most importantly, there is, and always has been a particular emphasis on understanding the precise qualities of the different terroirs across their vineyard holdings and Lopez Cristobal source grapes from vineyards grown on three distinct soil types. This, combined with ruthless attention to detail, a meticulous sorting process in the winery and their expertise means that the wines of this superlative bodega rarely disappoint!
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