Monday, October 16, 2023

This Celeste Tempranillo, from the highest vineyard in Ribera Del Duero, is that little bit closer to wine heaven

This Celeste Tempranillo, from the highest vineyard in Ribera Del Duero, is that little bit closer to vinous heaven

Pago Del Cielo Celeste Crianza Ribera Del Duero (DO) 2019, 14.5% ABV, €19.95 Bradleys.

Made with the Tinto Fino variety, Celeste has been aged in French and American oak barrels for 12 months in the winery at 895 meters of altitude.

Tinto Fino is the name by which Tempranillo is known in the Wine region of Ribera Del Duero, a region in which it gets some great results. This Celeste has the familiar yet fascinating dark cherry robe, with a lighter rim. Intense concentrated aromas are a mix of fruit (dark berries), plus a whiff of cocoa and spice. The fruit and spice you meet again in a light and velvety palate. The wine is surprisingly easy-drinking with an elegant and pleasing finish.

Very Highly Recommended.

The winery, owned by the Torres family, is well pleased: “Celeste Crianza is an opulent, fruit-filled, full-bodied wine with intense colour that possesses the freshness, passion, and intensity of a star-filled night. This wine is aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels and 12 months in the bottle. The flagship wine from the Pago del Cielo winery is one of DO Ribera del Duero’s most internationally famous wines.”


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I mentioned the altitude of the winery in the opening sentence and there’s a good reason. Torres again: “In Ribera del Duero, the winery is located in Fompedraza at 895 metres above sea level, the highest elevation in the DO. This privileged location, with its spectacular landscape, boasts the ideal climate for making intensely aromatic red wines….it is one of the highest vineyards in the northern hemisphere, a high-altitude, complex land whose harsh climate produces exceptionally high-quality grapes.”

Given its smooth, silky tannins and fruit concentration, the wine pairs beautifully with all kinds of red meat, chorizo, and aged cheeses. Serve at 14–16ºC.

Pago Del Cielo, a Torres company, is a wine project that spans two privileged Spanish wine regions steeped in tradition, committed to quality, and with a deep passion for winemaking – Ribera del Duero and Rueda. Ribera del Duero is located in the Meseta Central or central plateau of the Iberian Peninsula.

Taking the opportunity here to repeat a few lines I used when reviewing the same company’s excellent Verdejo a few weeks back.

The more we care about the earth, the better our wine. That is the Torres motto that I first heard in 2015 and it was underlined in this Verdejo. So whether it is improving sustainability (turning vine cuttings into a source of energy), using solar panels or organic viticulture or their long-time commitment to fair trade, Torres contribute wherever they are, from Chile to California to Catalonia. The earth could do with more families, more companies like this.

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