B-21 Top Recommendation
Alejandro Fernández (88 years young) arrived to the tiny village of Pesquera de Duero and purchased his first winery in 1972. A modest, 16th century stone bodega and press house, it would soon be home to the region's rebirth. Alejandro was a pioneer, his Viña Alta vineyard – 3,000 feet above the Duero River – planted to the first wire-trained vines in the region. Alejandro bottled his first Tinto Pesquera in 1975, gaining international notoriety with his 1982 vintage, dubbed by Parker the "Petrus of Spain." During Pesquera's boom in the early 1980s, Alejandro discovered a striking ridge, seemingly abandoned, perfectly situated with a south facing slope that led all the way to the Duero River banks. Soil analysis indicated that Alejandro had discovered the perfect parcel; sub-soils, exposure, drainage and top soils ideally suited for Tempranillo. By 1989, the "Master of Tempranillo" had planted his first 100 acres to this ridge – today, 500 contiguous acres are planted. This stunning estate rises high above the Duero River, on the opposite side of Pesquera, near the hilltop village of Haza. Christened Condado de Haza, this is home to Alejandro's bold, barrel aged beauty. For 2016, it's as intense as I've experienced in years, a testament to the Master's decades of powerful consistency.