Here’s a value-priced Ribera that overdelivers bigtime. It’s a surprisingly complete wine for the price from start to finish: inviting blackberry and cedar wood on the nose, supple dark cherry and a tantalizing sour tinge of purple mangosteen in the middle, and a musky touch of leather and spice on the finish. The 2010 FINCA EL ENCINAL Ribera Del Duero is a “Crianza” wine, so it is aged a relatively short 15 months and has a youthful, bright energy and verve and approachability about it despite its seriousness. This is that curious-looking, foreign college student who’s much more interested in studying and working on their talent than partying and getting laid. You look at them and you know they’re going to be somebody one day. If you’re smart, this is one Ribera you definitely want to get to know. –J.M.
*Never heard of Ribera Del Duero before? See my prior review for an explanation of why red wines from this Spanish region may be the finest red wines you’ve never tasted.
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