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Sipping Viña Sastre as the Vuelta Skirts Ribera del Duero

 Jesus Sastre in the vineyard

Chomping at the pip, we’ve been waiting…for the Vuelta España to enter our world of wines. Stages 7-10, just southwest of Madrid, skirt the region, Castilla y Leon; and just 150km diagonally southwest of DO Ribera del Duero, sits the 8th stage finish and the beginning of stage nine. Covering one stage through the plains and two days up and down for a total of five climbs, these four days of racing in Spain end with a challenging individual time trial.

To celebrate the Vuelta España, we decided to uncork a few bottles from de Maison Selections. Founded by André Tamers in 1996, de Maison Selections imports boutique wines from Spain and France. In this same year, TEW committed to distributing André’s wines, a natural extension of the ongoing friendship between André and Tom.

“I only want to work with people who are from the area,” says André of his producers, “…with people who represent the land.” And so, at this point in the Vuelta, we’d like to introduce Viña Sastre, a family-run winery with some of the oldest vineyards in the Ribera del Duero region. A D.O. that’s named for the Rio Duero, its high alpine valleys “demand that the vines be rugged, kept free of diseases, and harvested with full ripeness before the autumn frosts,” writes André, as if he were describing the members of the Vuelta peloton!

Viña Sastre

With Jesus Sastre taking over the winemaking after his brother Pedro unexpectedly passed in 2002, Viña Sastre includes prime vineyards in the Burgos area, that have been in the family for three generations. “This family has deep roots in the area, with a real respect for the land,” says André. “They’ve always farmed the land…Sastre works organically. He’s biodynamic. He’s ancestral.” In addition to such organic practices in the vineyard, Viña Sastre also employs natural winemaking. Using indigenous yeast, Jesus doesn’t filter nor fine his wines. And while he produces high end wines like Viña Sastre 2006 Pesus (only 150 cases!), which was awarded 100 points by Wine Enthusiast, and Viña Sastre 2005 Regina Vides, made from 80-100 year old vines and awarded 98 points, Jesus also offers more accessible bottles, like the 2007 Crianza Tempranillo which received 91 points from W. E., and stems from the same sustainable practices in the winery and vineyards.

For the Vuelta, we uncorked a bottle of Viña Sastre Tinto 2009, made from 15-20 year old Tempranillo vines. From La Horra-Valdelayuegua site, which resides at 800-900m, the vines sit in a clay/chalk combination soil. Aged in two-year-old American oak for seven months, Viña Sastre Tinto 2009 is deep ruby in color with a slight purple tint.  Wholly harmonious in its integration of dark fruit, black plum skin, and (light) spice, the Viña Sastre Tinto possesses an acidity that rises as it lifts the finish above its earthy tannins.

For your sipping pleasure, read stage results of the Vuelta España  here.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi to every one, its in fact a nice for me to go to see this web site, it contains useful Information.

    January 19, 2012
    • Hey Alyssa,
      Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying the blog…as we move forward we’ll keep focused on providing original content! Stay tuned…

      January 19, 2012

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