B-21 Top Recommendation
There's no shortage of competition in Ribera del Duero. My visits to the winemakers in this region can span several days, culminating at the eastern edge where vines are grown at dizzying heights of more than 3,000 feet above sea level. But there's an unspoken truth here – a respect that's known across the region – Alejandro Fernandez is El Jefe when it comes to Tempranillo in these parts. A living icon, he produces wines of uncompromising stature; potent, yet naturally concentrated and with an underlying elegance that allows his expressions of place and time to age more gracefully than any others. His extremely high elevation vineyards are planted to calcareous clay meseta soils and gravelly benchlands deposited in ancient times. These soils impart the unmistakable mineral undertones while forcing root stocks to struggle, ensuring character-filled fruit at every harvest. These are vines and soils perfected over generations, Alejandro their guide into bottle.