As it says, literally on the box; “Fine, artisan, village wines. Traditional, Organic and Sustainable Viticulture”. I think this sums up the wines of Ribera del Duero wine producer, Quinta Milu pretty well. Add ‘robust’, ‘tasty’ and ‘great value’ in there too, and you get the idea even more.
Headed up by a young and aspirational winemaker, Germán R. Blanco, these wines are made using grapes from old Tempranillo vines (old = low yield = more concentration) grown at around 900m altitude in the ‘up and coming’ village of La Aguilera in Northern Spain’s Burgos province. He uses traditional and minimum intervention wine making techniques such as good old fashioned foot treading and relies on wild yeast fermentation to make a fresh and modern style of Ribera del Duero. Although I’ve previously stocked the classy ‘La Cometa’, I equally rated the ‘Roble’ on my price-to-quality-and-flavour ratio, so opted for the latter this time to entice even more of you to try the wonders of Ribera de Duero.
Ribera del Duero sits on the Duero river in Northern Spain. The wine can be compared to more famous Rioja in that it’s a Spanish wine region producing some exceptional wine and both wines tend to be made from the same grape variety, Tempranillo. Ribera del Duero also shares a similar classification system, with increasing amounts of oak aging, from young wines Joven (often unoaked) and Roble, through to Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. This is where the similarities tend to stop since not only was Ribera del Duero recognised as a DO (designation of Origin) relatively recently in 1982, high altitude and a harsher climate with a short and intense growing season, leads to a very different style of wine being produced. Wine tends to be strong and robust with lots of fruit, tannin and savoury chocolate flavours rather than the lighter more refined style of Rioja.
Roble literally translates as ‘Oak’ and the Milu Roble, has seen up to 6 months in old oak. The finished wine is deep and dark but what I can only describe as a ‘highly strung’ fruity ridge running through it (zero WSET points on that tasting note). It’s super tangy and alive with blackberries a dash of cocoa and really well integrated tannin and acidity. I love it. As German himself puts it “Our traditional wine. Milú seeks to bring back the tastes of past years in a fresh and frisky sip of wine. A wine for everyday and for everyone…”
So not only does it taste great, it was made nicely by a man who cares about the environment and the wine which just so happens to be Organic. I’d pretty much say, it does what it says on the tin/ box and highlights just how small scale wine production should be.
If you like Rioja, I’d give it a try, but equally, if you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon fan, this could also be right up your street also. The 2015 vintage is now in stock but if you’d like to taste, I’ll have it open on Saturday 16th July outside Emmett’s Farm Shop in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire (SL7 3RR), soI’ll see you there!