Abadia Retuerta, Castilla y Leon VdT, Cuvee el Palomar
1998, Duero, Spain
Classification Castilla y Leon VdT
Colour / Type Red
Bottle size 75cl
Grape Tempranillo, Cabernet S.
Drinking window 2031
Average score 92
Located in Sard n de Duero, just outside the boundaries of Ribera del Duero (although some areas lie within the appellation), Santa Mar a de Retuerta is one of the historical estates in the region. In 1996, the financial support of Novartis, the pharmaceutical group, helped to launch an ambitious project which now has 210 hectares under vine in the 700-hectare estate. French winemaker Pascal Debeck, who supervised plantings and production of the first vintages, continues to work for Abad a Retuerta as a consultant. Although Tempranillo is the dominant variety, French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot are also meticulously planted in the slopes beneath the Douro river. As vinification is gravity-led, the winery uses small crane-operated tanks and each pago (parcel) is worked separately. Aging is all done in French oak. Production is just under half a million bottles and is made with around 75% Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and a small percentage of Syrah and/or Merlot. It is one of the leading reds in the area, at times even better than other Riberas in its category. The winery has long given up on its attempts to be part of the appellation. Instead, it has focused on consolidating its brand and get the best out of its location within the so-called 'Golden Mile' where illustrious wineries such as Vega Sicilia or Pingus are based. Tempranillo-based Pago Negralada and Pago Valdebell n, made with Cabernet Sauvignon, are their more famous labels, but Pago Gardu a (Syrah) and the Petit Verdot -less than 1,000 bottles.