2011 Bodegas y Viñedos Valderiz Valdehermoso Ribera del Duero (Previously $13)
Located on prime, chalky real estate in the village of Roa del Duero, Valderiz makes some of the most serious wines of the region. Their 60 hectares are spread across 35 different parcels, trained "en vaso" or goblet, which owner Tomas Esteban feels is best for the vines in this land of extreme continental climate. Vineyards are organically farmed with some biodynamic preparations employed as well. Here is just one indicator of how desirable these vineyards are: Pingus (maker one of Spain's most expensive collectible wines) still calls every year looking to purchase fruit. This is classic Ribera del Duero Tempranillo full of bright, pure, intense berry fruit, framed by the region's telltale sturdy structure. Fermentation takes place in tank and occurs naturally, with native yeasts and absolutely no additives used. As the wine is also aged in tank (no oak for this wine) the focus is on delicious, transparent fruit. If in the region, the pairing for this wine would have to be lamb chops grilled over vine cuttings. Should you not have access to vine cuttings, grilling lamb on your preferred grill should do the trick. In fact, if you are fan of the grilled meats, you ought to consider loading up on this wine; it is that good.