Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero 2012
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|Region||Ribera del Duero|
Wine AdvocateThe current vintage for the crianza is 2012. The 2012 Crianza, from a dry vintage, resulted much fresher than expected, fresher than 2009 and 2011 in fact. The vines are dry-farmed and were planted some 22 years ago, and you might say they have matured by now. The approximate mixture of grapes in their vineyards is mostly Tempranillo with some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, and it's more or less the blend in this wine. The Cabernet works well, providing finesse and some acidity to the Tempranillo. Merlot does not work that well, and they are regrafting it to Cabernet and Malbec, so in future vintages there will be less of it. The wine matured in 20% new French oak barrels for some 20 months. There are no traces of the barriques and the nose took me to the Riberas of yesteryear, with some subtle rusticity; it's ripe without excess and there's good balance between fruit, spices and perhaps something earthy. The palate is extremely balanced, medium-bodied with very fine tannins, tasty, approachable and long. This could very well be the best crianza ever produced at Monasterio. This has to be one of the bargains of the vintage in Ribera, given the quality it delivers.