Saturday, March 23, 2013

Uncorked: Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel Wine Tasting

Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel Wine Tasting at the
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

First, I must apologize for not being able to provide accompanying aromas or scratch and sniff photos with this post. Each of the wines featured had rich colors and fragrances that made this tasting event uniquely special. Not a photographer by trade, it would have been difficult for me to to capture the depth and tint of these lovely reds with even the most perfect camera, so what pictures I did take with my mini camera didn't even turn out. Hopefully, my words will suffice to entice you to try these lush beauties.

An extension of the DC International Wine and Food Festival, The Wine Cooperative hosted Laurence Colson from Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel in collaboration with Pearson's Wine and Spirits. This 13 year old winery is located in the Ribuera de Duero region of central Spain which was recently awarded 2012 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. There are currently 270 wineries in this region of Spain alone. 

Opening for production and distribution in 2000, Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel boasts use of 100% Tempranillo grapes in their vintages. Additionally, they purposely keep production down to 37,000 lbs. of fruit a year so that each step of their process has their full attention. The most unique aspect of the production process is the elaboration by gravity to express the juice from the fruit. Instead of using mainstream pumps or presses, Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel relies on the grape's own weight to extract the desired product. This specialized gravitational process is implemented throughout fermentation period and prevents unnecessary damage to the fruit and is a more hygienic and faster process. This plays into why the aroma of their wines are so aromatic and the flavors more complex. Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel offers two brands, Peña and Resalte.

Our first taste was the Peña Roble Joven, a standard young wine (average vineyard age of 10 years) with nice fruity notes and medium to sweet crispness. It is aged in new French Oak (50%) and American Oak (50%) barrels.

The Peña Roble Crianza is made from the fruit of 30-60 year old vines and aged for 12 months in American Oak (70%) and French Oak (30%). Its medium-bodied texture belies notes of tart cherry and dark fruits with a chocolaty balsamic-like aftertaste.

Peña Roble Reserva and Resalte Vendimia Seleccionada were by far the crowd-pleasers of the evening, specially with the women. Peña Roble Reserva 2004 is very well-balanced Tempranillo, aged 18 months in French Oak (60%) and American Oak (40%) and two years resting in the bottle, with an average vineyard age of 25 years or more. It was awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate. A beautiful deep cherry red, this wine is sure to satisfy.

Peña Roble Juven and Peña Roble Crianza

Resalte Vendimia Seleccionada 2010, has the most amazing nose that is quite floral and complex. The heavy aroma enhances the flavor, which surprises the taste buds with a lighter-than-expected, crisp sensibility that is rounded out by a clean, creamy toffee-like finish. With limited production, the wine is aged in new French Oak, 130-gallon barrels for six months, allowed to rest for one month in a stainless steel tub and set to rest in the bottle for two months.

The Resalte Crianza 2005, was chosen by Wine Spectator as the Best Spanish Wine in 2010 - 26th in the World's Top 100 Wines. It also won the 2012 Gold Bacchus Award. With an average vineyard age of 25 years, aged 15 months in French Oak (80%) and American Oak (20%), this wine easily stands on its own. The berry and spicy notes also hint of black licorice and would be perfectly paired with a nice juicy steak.

Utilizing vineyards with an average age of 40 years, the Resalte Reserva is aged 18 months in French Oak (90%) and American Oak (10%) barrels. It is processed by using malolactic fermentation where tart malic-acid is converted into softer lactic-acid. Though a pairing with sirloin was suggested, I couldn't help but crave venison or stuffed pheasant while drinking this wine. It was by far the most powerful wine presented. Its deep brick-red color and  intense nose hinted at its chocolaty-tobacco and coffee essences.

Gran Resalte 2001
Last, but arguably the best wine offered by Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel, the Gran Resalte 2001. With limited availability (only four barrels were produced), an average vineyard age of 80-100 years, 33 months in a new French Oak barrel (100%), 44 minimum months resting in the bottle, this wine is simply opulent. Chosen as the best wine of the Ribera del Duero, this wine could pair easily with Stilton cheese, pork or anything buttery rich. Though it is powerful it is still perfectly balanced in its tannin and acidity and has a magnificent floral nose. It is easily filling due to its depth, yet is elegant and savory.

Most of these wines can be ordered through Pearson's Wine and Spirits, though I suggest calling the store directly since the website may not show the current stock. 

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