Pago de Carraovejas, Ribera del Duero
Pago de Carraovejas, Ribera del Duero

Pago de Carraovejas, Ribera del Duero

Castile y Léon, Spain 2019 (750mL)
Regular price$54.00
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Pago de Carraovejas, Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero is a singular place, a region where conventional wisdom would say that viticulture is impossible. The rainfall each year wouldn’t be enough for unirrigated vines were it not for the sandy topsoils that allow water to pass through and be stored in more alluvial sedimentation down below. In this dry and arid region, soaring daytime temperatures come crashing down as soon as the sun sets, preserving the precious acidity of the local Tempranillo clone, Tinta del País. 

Located in Peñafiel, the historic heart of the Ribera del Duero DO, Pago de Carraovejas was founded in 1987 by a group of wine-lovers from nearby Segovia. It is, like many estates in this high-desert environment, a dramatic landscape, with a vast tract of vineyards that climbs in spots to 900 meters of elevation. Today, they have 160 hectares of grapevines in production, with a stunning modern winery perched amid the plots. Many of the vineyards at Pago de Carraovejas occupy steep, narrow terraces in soils rich in limestone, which turn white during the (mostly) dry growing season. 

This wine gets the full Bordeaux-inspired treatment: fermentation on ambient yeasts in stainless steel, malolactic fermentation in large oak vats, then aging for 12 months in a combination of French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels. An opaque ruby-black in the glass, it’s a full-bore explosion of fruit and earth, with aromas/flavors of tiny dark woodland berries (mulberry, blueberry, black currant), damp violet, pencil lead, espresso grounds, cocoa powder, roasted meat, and dusty earth. It is full-bodied and concentrated but also lively and lifted, with lots of stony minerality and well-integrated oak. This is a red wine for red meat, best served cool (60 degrees) after a lengthy decant.

Pago de Carraovejas, Ribera del Duero


Eastern Spain


The Montsant DO is Priorat’s downslope neighbor in northeastern
Spain, but other than differences in altitude, there isn’t much else to tell their terroirs apart. Both appellations contain some of the world’s greatest old-vine Garnacha (Grenache) in soils of fractured granite and shale known locally as llicorella. It is a Mediterranean climate, with wide diurnal temperature swings.

Eastern Spain


Technically, a wine labeled ‘Cava’ can be produced in several different regions, but Penedès, on Spain’s northern Mediterranean coast, is its
spiritual home. The climate is Mediterranean, the soils a favorable mix of limestone (key in pre-serving acids), sand, and clay, and Cava sparklers are crafted in the traditional ‘Champagne’ method. The traditional grapes used for Cava are Xarel-lo (cha-RAY-yo), Macabeu, and Parellada.

Northwestern Spain


Galicia is lusher, colder, wetter, and greener than most of the rest of Spain, especially where wine-growing
is concerned. Viticulture up here is some of the most “heroic” in the world, as vineyards cling to impossibly steep slopes along snaking rivers such as the Miño and
the Sil. The influence of the Atlantic Ocean is profound, often lending wines a salty, “sea spray” character.

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