Celebrate Spanish Wine Week With This Very Smart Red

MARY DOWEY selects a stylish red from RIBERA DEL DUERO near MADRID …

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Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2014

Is any wine-producing country bursting with more energy and excitement than the others? Yes, I think Spain is. Thanks to a new generation of enterprising winemakers, we’re seeing more and more fantastic wines, often made from unusual grapes in regions much less familiar than Rioja. So of all the promotional events that the calendar flashes at wine fans, one of the most worthwhile is Spanish Wine Week which starts this Sunday.

The bottle I’ve chosen to put you in the mood is one that stood out for me on a recent trip to Ribera del Duero. This region northwest of Madrid certainly isn’t a recent addition to the Spanish wine map: Vega Sicilia, its most famous bodega, dates back to 1864 while Emilio Moro, source of this weekend’s stylish red, was established in 1891. But only in the past 20 years or so has Ribera del Duero raised its game so impressively across the board that it is now firmly associated with top-quality wine.

Try this suave red from Emilio Moro and you’ll see at once that you have a splash of something superior in your glass. Made from Tinto Fino, the local grape equivalent of Tempranillo, aged for a year in French and American oak, it has rich notes of kirsch, black cherries and spice lifted by enough juicy acidity to keep it lively and moreish. The texture is super-smooth too – one more sign of the fastidious approach adopted by current boss José Moro, representing the third generation to run this ambitious family firm. Make no mistake, this is a big wine – best with red meat or the richest veggie dish you can dream up.

For details of all the tastings, talks, dinners and special offers running right through until Sunday April 30 with support from Wines of Spain, have a look right away at spanishwineweek.ie.

Alcohol: 14%

From Corkscrew, Dublin 2; Terroirs, Dublin 4; Redmonds, Dublin 6; Whelehans, Loughlinstown; Salthill Liquor Store, Co Galway; J J O’Driscoll, Cork and other good independent retailers, about €25.

@MaryDowey

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