2011 Lambuena Crianza Ribera del Duero

SKU #1254711 Wine Spectator

 *Smart Buy* A sleek texture carries lively flavors of cherry, mint, licorice and smoke in this fresh red. Light, firm tannins and juicy acidity give this backbone. (TM)  (6/2016)

K&L Notes

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 aging 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)

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Price: $19.99

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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.

Ribera del Duero