Ribera Del Douro Spanish Wine Tasting Featuring: Bodegas Pesquera, Condado De Haza and Alenza

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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"If penicillin can cure those that are ill, Spanish sherry can bring the dead back to life."
- Sir Alexander Fleming


We have two KILLER back to back Spanish wine tastings coming up the week after next with Bodegas Numanthia on Wednesday, February 19th and wines from Ribera Del Douro featuring: Bodegas Pesquera, Condado De Haza and Alenza the very next evening Thursday, February 20th. 


Join us as we taste through three top properties in Ribera Del Douro with wines going back to the 1991 vintage!  Chef Toni Lampasone will be making a few small courses to accompany the tasting wines and the fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $125 + tax.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com



Ribera Del Douro Spanish Wine Tasting Featuring: Bodegas Pesquera, Condado De Haza and Alenza
Thursday, February 20th

Condado de Haza Ribera Del Douro 2005

Condado de Haza Ribera Del Douro 2016
Price: $20.25 Sale $17.82

This wine spends 18 months minimum aging in American oak casks for the Crianza's from Fernandez and this wine has more of an herbal nose with a base of limestone clay and gravel here a nice peppery spice here to the wild strawberry fruit.  A very elegant wine with fine silky tannins and a nice freshness to the finish, echoing the earth and spice from the nose through the finish.  Finish 40+            Excellent   

Pesquera Crianza Ribera Del Douro 1996

Pesquera Crianza Ribera Del Douro 2005

Pesquera Crianza Ribera Del Douro 2015
Price: $34.50 Sale $30.36

100% Tempranillo and this wine is one of the benchmarks for the region, a good amount of concentrated wild strawberry fruit with notes of sweet dried beef, a soy like quality and dried flowers and some earth the vineyards here are all limestone soils.  A very bright and fresh wine on the tongue with a nice mix of berry fruit, dried floral notes and a wonderful freshness and balance here this wine will last for at least a decade or more in the cellar.  Finish 40+    Excellent   

Pesquera Reserva Ribera Del Douro 1991

Pesquera Reserva Ribera Del Douro 2012
Price: $54.00 Sale $47.52

A very cool vintage and this wine has a beautiful bouquet with smoked meats, a bit of barnyard like funky notes here or as we say a bit of "James Brown". Nice structure here on the tongue with firm tannins and a host of spice and earthy that earthy/barnyard notes, James brown lasting through the finish. Finish 50+ Excellent +

Alenza Ribera Del Douro 1995
(the first vintage produced on this wine)

Alenza Ribera Del Douro 2006
Price: $96.00 Sale $84.48

The Alenza (from “ALEjandro” and “esperaNZA,” Alejandro’s devoted wife) is produced only in the riper vintages, from the last grapes harvested.  The 2006 is the 8th release of this wine, an expression of Tempranillo is aged for 36 months in American oak and 30 months in the bottle, a very complex and concentrated bouquet of dark berry fruit mixed with aromas of dried meats, leather, fine herbs and a good amount of spice and earth notes, even more complex on the second day.  Wow, a big and chewy wine with lots of dark berry and plum fruit, some dry tannins at the end, this wine is still quite youthful and will last for a few decades in the cellar with a long-layered finish echoing the dried meats and earth notes through the finish.  Finish 50+    Most Excellent

Charcuterie and Cheese Selections: Jamon De Serrano Manchego
Duck Ravioli with Sundried Currant Browned Butter and fresh sage
Sweet Onion Crusted Berkshire Pork Loin with Vanilla Dill Beurre Blanc and Torta Espaniola

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $125 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 nor e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you have any food allergies or special requests and chef Toni will be happy to accommodate you.


A Bit about Pesquera and Ribera del Duero:

Some of Spain's greatest reds, including her most expensive by far, Vega Sicilia, grow along the banks of the Duero River in the Ribera del Duero in north central Spain. The Ribera del Duero is just south and west of Spain's much more well-known Rioja district, but knowledgeable observers feel that this close cousin and neighbor of Rioja has much greater potential. Spain's most prestigious estate, Vega Sicilia, was founded in 1864 - it is perched some 2400 feet above sea level on the south bank of the Duero. The founder of Vega Sicilia imported Bordeaux grapes (cabernet, merlot, and malbec) and added them to several local varieties. The yield of the 296 acre vineyard is extremely low (10,500 cases), but the result is a wine combining immense power, great fruit, and unusual breed. Because Vega Sicilia is so rare, it commands prices that approach and even surpass some of Bordeaux's top crus. It was inevitable that the quality and resulting fame of Vega Sicilia would eventually inspire others to repeat and magnify on the performance. What is simply amazing is that some of the new bodegas were so long in coming. For example, Pesquera did not even exist fourty years ago!

In 1972, Alejandro Fernández of Pesquera de Duero initiated the replanting of Spain's Ribera del Duero appellation with the area's first modern wire-trained vineyard, his Viña Alta in Pesquera. This was at a time when the region was still actively replacing vineyards with irrigated crops such as sugar beets, aided in part by Alejandro and his revolutionary, patented harvesting equipment. His first love was wine, and by 1972 his machinery business had developed to the point which allowed him to establish Bodegas Alejandro Fernández. His Tinto Pesquera was destined to demonstrate the greatness of a long-neglected terroir and to create an international wake which revitalized an entire wine district - not to mention the whole lethargic Spanish wine scene. Praise came relatively soon for Pesquera. Robert Parker dubbed it the "Pétrus of Spain". Writing in the NY Times, Frank Prial said: "Tinto Pesquera uses the very Spanish tempranillo grape. Even so, the wine is extraordinary, with intense fruit that reminds one of the finest Bordeaux. The wine is intensely flavored but elegant. It could grace a wine lover's table with ease. And indeed, it closely resembles some of the greats of Médoc at various stages of its development: Latour one day, Mouton the next, Pétrus the day after that."

In the middle 1980's, as Tinto Pesquera was taking its place among the most intriguing and powerful icons in the world of wine, Alejandro spied a neglected slope along the Duero River which had the appearance of being the most ideal vineyard site in the region, perhaps in all Spain: One full kilometer of southfacing mountain slope leading right to the river's edge, remarkable in the absence of intervening, level benchland terrain. Ideal soils in the full range preferred by the Tempranillo variety, from gravel to clay with a chalky base, suggested the potential for a multitude of styles from this difficult grape, essential material to create the complexity and balance required in a great wine.

Although abandoned for years due to its unsuitability to the growing of irrigated crops, the slope consisted of hundreds of small parcels with individual and stubborn ownership. Three years of continuous negotiation beginning in late 1986 resulted in the first planting of 100,000 vines on 45 hectares (113 acres) in 1989. As more of the slope was acquired, preparations ensued for planting in mid-1996, nearing completion with over 200 hectares (500 acres) established of prime Tempranillo vines. Entirely within the county once controlled by the fortified medieval hilltop village of Haza high above the opposite bank of the Duero, the vineyard estate became known as Condado de Haza in commemoration of past as well as future nobility.

While small amounts of an excellent 1993 were produced from Condado de Haza grapes, the great and ripe 1994 was the first vintage for shipment to the international market. Both 1993 and 1994 were fermented and pressed in the old bodega at Pesquera de Duero, then transferred to the barrel rooms on the new estate for aging and bottling. In 1995, the grapes were received and processed on the estate, all vintages thenceforth to remain on the property, from growing and harvesting to fermenting, aging and bottling, until the final shipment to the market. Condado de Haza Tinto reflects the bold and brilliant winemaking style of Alejandro Fernández, unrivaled master of Spain's Tempranillo variety. Bottled after 15 months in American oak, like Tinto Pesquera it can be enjoyed early, yet it will reward those with patience.

The Dehesa La Granja Winery (Where time takes on a flavor and memory becomes an aroma) is located in the province of Zamora in the area once known as "Tierra del Vino", the land of wine in Spanish. It is Alejandro's third winery and has almost 8000 hectares of varied lands on the banks of the river Guarena.

The property was formerly dedicated to fighting bull, until Alejandro Fernandez refurbished it and dedicated it once again to its original purpose of making wines.


 2013 El Vinculo Crianza
Price: $15.75 Sale $13.86

(88 Points)
"Inside a hard shell of tannins, flavors of kirsch, strawberry preserves and vanilla mingle. A bit candied but lively, thanks to sweet-tart acidity. Slightly disjointed, but has fruit and muscle. Tempranillo. Drink now through 2023. 1,300 cases imported." Wine Spectator, January 2018



2011 Dehesa La Granja 
Price: $16.75 Sale $14.74

Located in western Spain in the province of Zamora, Alejandro’s third winery is built on a sprawling ranch, where the 120 hectares of high-quality Tempranillo vines produce wines that are large in volume, structure and depth.  
A true farm-to-table wine, the 2011 Dehesa La Granja is well-structured, potent, velvety, and ­fleshy wine in the mouth, boasting powerful, rounded tannins.. It has subtle hints of ripe red berries with smooth, rounded balsamic notes and traces of smoky, toasted elements.