The Edinburgh Wine Club 

Region: Castilla y León

Appellation: D.O. Ribera del Duero

City: Castrillo de Duero

Founded in 2001 by successful publisher Alfonso de Salas, Marqués de Montecastro y Llanahermosa. Mature Tempranillo vineyards from 8 to 100 years old have been sourced in five distinct soil types and at elevations between 2150 and 3500 feet. Winemaking focus is upon fruit retention and rich, soft tannins, resulting in sophisticated wines that are fully complex in youth yet long-lived.

A landmark project in Ribera del Duero, founded in 2001 by a group of Madrid professionals led by prominent publisher Alfonso de Salas, the Marqués de Montecastro y Llanahermosa. Modeled after the finest examples heretofore produced in the Ribera del Duero, Montecastro has succeeded from its first vintages in creating wines unsurpassed for authenticity and breed.

First priority was the acquisition and planting of 55 acres in the heart of Ribera del Duero at high altitude and on poor, chalky/stony soils. Meanwhile, a small group of growers located in various sub-regions was carefully selected and placed under long-term contract. The mature plots range from 8 to 100 years old and are subjected to severe yield restriction. Vines are planted in a range of five distinct soil types at elevations varying from 2150 to 3500 feet, resulting in a multifaceted harvest essential for coaxing maximum complexity from mono-varietal Tempranillo. In each vintage up to 21 distinct terroirs are fermented and aged separately, allowing for an assemblage that achieves richness with subtlety.

The modern bodega emulates the traditional chimney (zarcera) feature of the area's medieval subterranean cellars, serving the dual purpose of providing natural aeration and daylight illumination. Grape clusters are received in small crates and sorted before being transported whole on belts for stemming and crushing at the top of each of the temperature-controlled, epoxy-lined cement fermenters, avoiding pumping of the must.

Natural fermentation and skin contact according to vintage are followed by spontaneous malolactic and aging in 50% new and 50% second-year oak barriques, of which 70% are of French origin, 25% American and 5% Eastern European.