Wine of the week: an impeccably balanced Ribera

This is one of the most expressive old vine Riberas I have tasted, and at a remarkable price, too.

2016 Áster, Finca El Otero, Ribera del Duero, Spain 

£38.50, reduced to £35.00 by the case, Bon Coeur Fine Wines 01325 776446,  bcfw.co.uk

This is the fourth wine that I have written up from the La Rioja Alta wine company in the 783 times I have put pen to paper on this page. That’s a good percentage of appearances for a single wine company, but this red is not from Rioja. I must admit that I got a little excited as I tasted this masterful Ribera, and then my palate took a step back when I learned that the alcohol percentage is a little over 15% by volume! Hefty, but I can assure you that this lusty fellow is impeccably balanced on the palate. It is one of the most expressive old vine Riberas I have tasted, and given it is only five years old, the fruit and tannin, and the 16 months spent in new French oak, are all very integrated.  

My wine-scribe pal Tim Atkin has awarded this beauty a heady score of 96/100. There is a phenomenon in the wine world called score-creep. This is when seemingly mesmerised wine journos hand out nosebleed scores to all manner of ill-deserving wines. This disease is rife in our industry and something which punters have wisely learned to ignore after having consumed far too many wines with high-nineties scores and dreary flavours. Mr Atkin is not one of these fools. If I scored wines out of 100, I would also be up among the clouds. There is another attractive number attached to this wine, too – £35 is a small price to pay for this degree of sophistication.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).

Recommended

When investors get over-excited, it’s time to worry – but we’re not there yet
Sponsored

When investors get over-excited, it’s time to worry – but we’re not there yet

When investors are pouring money into markets, it can be a warning sign of impending disaster, writes Max King. So how are fund flows looking right no…
26 Oct 2021
An investment trust that gives exposure to frontier markets
Investment trusts

An investment trust that gives exposure to frontier markets

An investment trust investing in small, illiquid emerging markets has disappointed, but deserves another chance, says Max King
26 Oct 2021
What does Rishi Sunak have in store for investors this Wednesday?
Budget

What does Rishi Sunak have in store for investors this Wednesday?

Rishi Sunak is unveiling his spending plans for the economy this week. John Stepek analyses areas which may be most hit by the budget.
25 Oct 2021
How rising interest rates could hurt big tech stocks
Tech stocks

How rising interest rates could hurt big tech stocks

Low interest rates have helped the biggest companies to entrench their positions. But what if rates rise?
25 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Properties for sale for around £1m
Houses for sale

Properties for sale for around £1m

From a stone-built farmhouse in the Snowdonia National Park, to a Victorian terraced house close to London’s Regent’s Canal, eight of the best propert…
15 Oct 2021
How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy
Energy

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy

The government has started to roll out its plans for switching us over from fossil fuels to hydrogen and renewable energy. Should investors buy in? St…
8 Oct 2021
Emerging markets: the Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?
Emerging markets

Emerging markets: the Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?

Twenty years ago hopes were high for Brazil, Russia, India and China – the “Brics” emerging-market economies. But only China has beaten expectations. …
18 Oct 2021