2010 Lambuena Crianza Ribera del Duero
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. Primary dark berry and floral aromas are complemented by candied flowers and allspice. Offers sappy blackberry and blueberry flavors and notes of licorice and mocha that carry through a sweet, gently tannic finish. The 2010 Crianza and Reserva bottlings from this bodega should be very interesting, based on this wine's showing.
Located in the town of Roa, which is part of the Burgos district, Lambuena is a producer of D.O. Ribera del Duero wines and is one of our newest Spanish direct imports. Ideally situated in the central growing region of the Ribera del Duero, in an area known for the very high quality of its chalky clay soils and its extreme continental climate, Lambuena makes big, generously fruited, yet structured and ultimately classic Ribera del Duero wines (these days, this is very difficult to find in this D.O.) Though the wines consist primarily of Tempranillo ("tinto fino" in the local parlance), there is a small amount of Merlot grown as well, a grape that has been growing in the region since at least the late 19th century (and is still part of Vega Sicilia's plantings). A careful hand harvest, native yeast fermentation, fermentation in tank followed by ageing in French and American oak barrels (with a four year barrel rotation) all add up to very good, traditional Ribera del Duero wine. The crianza shows black cherry fruit, hints of licorice, subtly smoky/sweet spices, and an overall balance and structure that I love to taste, but all too seldom sense in modern day Ribera del Duero wines. This should continue to improve in bottle for at least another 7 years. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)