Traveling along the N-122, following the River Duero in the direction of Vega Sicilia, we reached the small town of Sardon del Duero. Just outside this town, about a mile down the road in Retuerta, the Count of Castile commissioned the construction of a series of Abbeys in the 12th century. One of the most important was the monastery of Santa María de Retuerta (Abadia de Retuerta), built in a beautiful enclave on the banks of the Duero River – of all the monasteries built during this period, Abadia de Retuerta is one of only two in existence today.
Stunning, awe-inspiring, eye-popping in every sense – just plain nuts... this place is beautiful. Restoration began on the buildings as well as the Abbey in the 1990s. The current owners are heirs to this place and they did it right. A majestic spa, a Michelin starred restaurant, a Relais & Chateaux luxury hotel, guided tours via helicopter.... Quoting Maître de Maison, Andrés Araya, "Every architectural detail has been immaculately preserved. The monks’ cells are now guestrooms, the chapter house is the lounge bar, and the refectory is now a sumptuous restaurant." Friends, it's THAT amazing!
Planted in the 1990s (Petrus' winemaker as their guide), the only major difference between the vineyards here and Vega Sicilia is vine age... the bang for the buck is unbelievable! As I tasted through the lineup, they shared with me their thoughts regarding the personality of the 2016 Seleccion Especial – Vintage 2016 mimics Bordeaux – stellar. As I tasted this new bottling, I was reminded of the Wine Spectator Top 100s of previous vintages and how well have you received this property in the past. It's been too long!