In 1972, Alejandro Fernández and his wife Esperanza Rivera of Pesquera de Duero initiated the renaissance of Spain's Ribera del Duero appellation with the area's first modern wire-trained vineyard, their Viña Alta in Pesquera. In the mid-1980s as Tinto Pesquera was assuming its place among the most intriguing and powerful icons in the world of wine, Alejandro spied a neglected slope along the Duero River which had the appearance of being the most ideal vineyard site in the region, perhaps in all Spain: One full kilometer of southfacing mountain slope leading right to the river's edge. Ideal soils in the full range preferred by the Tempranillo variety, from gravel to clay with a chalky base, suggested the potential for a multitude of styles from this difficult grape, essential for creating the desired complexity and balance.
Abandoned for years, the slope consisted of hundreds of small parcels with separate and stubborn ownership. Three years of continuous negotiation beginning in late 1986 resulted in the first planting of just over 100 acres in 1989. Today the contiguous estate includes over 500 acres of prime Tempranillo vines. Encompassed within the historic county of the hilltop village Haza high above the opposite bank of the Duero, the estate was christened Condado de Haza.
Condado de Haza reflects the bold and brilliant winemaking style of Alejandro Fernández, unrivaled master of Spain's Tempranillo variety. Bottled after malolactic fermentation and 15 months in American oak, like Tinto Pesquera it can be enjoyed early yet will reward patient cellaring.
Learn More About Other Red Blends
Red wines are certainly not limited to Cabernet and Pinot Noir - or even Nebbiolo and Grenache. There are a multitude of grape varieties throughout the world, however, in a Darwinian sense, survival of the fittest only brings us wines made from grapes that can adapt to changing climates and winemaking techniques.
Notable Facts Our "other red wines" primarily consists of a multitude of different blends, such as Argentina blends - Malbec-based blends, often with Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah Australian blends - Usually Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blends Tuscan blends - Super Tuscans are often blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or others. Excellent and interesting blends in this category, however, come from just about everywhere, including Portugal, South Africa and Greece.
Some of the red single varietals you'll find in our other red wine category include: Carignan, a Spanish grape found in Spain (under the name Cariñena) and in many of the blends in the Rhone and Languedoc-Rousillon
Aglianico, a varietal from Southern Italy that makes some big and bold reds.
Montelpulciano d'Abruzzo, which is the grape Montelpulciano, from Abruzzo. A very easy-drinking wine from Central Italy.
Learn More About Ribera del Duero, Spain
(rib-EHR-ah del dwehr-oh)
Only a DO since 1982, Ribera del Duero has been making wine for centuries, and some of the bodegas there have been family run for generations. Of course, the most famous wine of the region is Vega Sicilia, possibly the most expensive and sought-after wine in Spain.
The wines of Ribera del Duero are mainly red – white wines here are not exported or revered. The reds come primarily from a variation of Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino or Tinto del Pais in this region. Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon are also used, but not so often. The best wines of the area are refreshing yet sturdy and complex, with an ability to age and mature gracefully.