The more I learn about wine, it seems the less I know.  Each time I endeavor to dive in to learn more about a wine region, I am overwhelmed by the history and various subregions/appellations of that area.  Several regions that initially appeared simple on the surface, turned out to be quite complex so many unique characteristics and rich with history once I started learning more about them (I know less today than I did a couple of months ago).  Three such regions are – Gigondas, Jura and Ribera del Duero.

Between now and the end of next month, I am on a quest to learn more about the wines from the Ribera del Duero since I am helping organize a local blind Ribera tasting with some friends the third weekend in October.  And, since I know so little about wines from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, I am trying as many wines as possible from the Ribera before the tasting.   To further my education, I have picked up several bottles to taste through prior to next month’s tasting.  I found the bottle below at Lets Talk Wine last night for a very reasonable $15.

A quick Ribera factoid:  Most red wines from Ribera del Duero are made from Tinto Fino, a variant of Tempranillo.  They are sometimes compared to Rioja, but the wines of Ribera tend to be less oaky with dense fruit.

El Arte de Vivir 2007 (produced by Bodegas JC Conde)  Translated, ‘El Arte de Vivir’ means the art to live.  100% tempranillo.  Made from 60 to 80 year-old vines.  This was all fruit, dense – a nose of plum, currant, dark cherry with a pleasant violet component.  More dark fruit and floral flavors in the mouth.  Although the wine spent 6 months in oak, the tannins were muted.  I appreciate the ample fruit, but personally prefer a wine with more tannin and acidity.  I could see this one being a big crowd pleaser at a tasting.

We paired this one with baked chirizo, potatoes with eggs – not the best pairing.


I’ll put this one on the ‘B’ list of potential candidates for the tasting.