Tue 4 Aug 2009
The Abadia Retuerta estate in Spain’s Vino de la Tierra Castillo y Léon region occupies land that was established as a monastery and vineyards in 1146. Whatever else one wants to say about the winery, there’s certainly historical provenance that’s lacking in the New World, where we tend to regard producers founded in the 1970s as venerable. Abadia Retuerta, owned since 1988 by the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis, turns out notably attractive and fairly priced wines, and one of the most notable of those is Rívola Sardon de Duero 2006, a blend of 60 percent tempranillo and 40 percent cabernet sauvignon aged 12 months in oak, 2/3 American and 1/3 French.
Rívola ’06 bursts with ripe, fleshy and meaty scents of spicy black currants and plums. Loads of personality here and lots of lively vibrancy and resonance add up to an eminently likable wine; dense and slightly shaggy tannins stop short of assertiveness, allowing some breathing room for smoky blueberry and black current flavors laced with brambles, bacon and minerals. While we drank this with a hearty pasta dish, it would be great with grilled cumin-and-garlic crusted pork chops or sausages with green chilies and roasted peppers. Very Good+. About $15.
Imported by Kobrand Corp., Purchase, N.Y. A fascinating article about the founding of Abadia Retuerta and the operation of the estate and winery is here.