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Highest-Rated Ribera—WS96 Valderiz for Under $30 - 12/10/2019 - Spain

In the past three years, no Ribera del Duero has garnered a score as high as Valderiz’s 96-point mark from Wine Spectator. Considering the competition includes $100 to $500, 95-point bottlings from Aalto, Vega Sicilia, and Emilio Moro, it is a jaw-dropping accomplishment for Valderiz at slightly under $30. Simply put, Valderiz is an incredibly rare value for a wine of this elite standing. Made in a modern style, it delivers ample fruit and spice along with a supple and plush delivery. That said, there’s no mistaking its Spanish roots—its flavor profile is classic Ribera del Duero through and through. This 2016 is very open and inviting now, but it also possesses excellent structure, allowing it the potential to age twenty years or more. Infinitely drinkable and made in a style with broad appeal, this is the perfect candidate to share with family and friends. Easily one of the best buys out of Spain we’ve seen, we expect our allocation to sell in a flash.

2016 Valderiz Ribera del Duero ($29.99)

96 points Wine Spectator: "The dense, polished texture carries rich, harmonious flavors in this elegant red. Blackberry and currant notes mingle with espresso, mineral, licorice and spice accents. Lovely floral hints emerge on the long, clean finish. Beautifully sculpted. (TM)" (11/2019)

94 points James Suckling: "This has a very rich and fresh array of ripe dark berries and plums, earthy notes and attractively spicy oak influence. The palate has a very sleek, fresh and enlivened feel with lots of energy and depth. Great tannins. Drink or hold." (06/2019)

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2019

Not even that close to the glass, you can tell that this is going to be dark and fruity. On the nose there are aromas of blackberry, wet slate and cherry liquor. It almost has a Priorat-does-Ribera thing going on here. But on the palate, its a different story: There's plenty of structure and grip. This wine makes total sense to me. It is a nice, clean, modern-styled Ribera del Duero that will equally satisfy newcomers to the region and veterans alike.

Staff ImageRyan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

The aromas alone are worth the price of admission - copious blackberry, asphalt, and violets. The palate is deep with resounding deep fruit, a ton of structure, mouthwatering acidity, and fine mineral-laced tannins. Rarely have I seen a Ribera del Duero with as much structure - this will be one for the long haul but is still very impressive at this stage.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

With aromas of dark berries with a hint of fine spice and earth all backed by a restrained use of French Oak. It verges on heady and just tempts you to jump into the glass. Where this wine really shines in on the palate. This is full and almost lush on the palate. The dark fruit is backed with polished tannins and creamy, spicy chocolate-e, espresso-e oak. This is modern elegant Ribera del Duero, the fruit and earth can come from no place else, the polished oak elevates and softens its accent making this an ideal red for all hearty red wine drinkers.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

The nose of this wine lets you know it is something special, focused, dense, with waves of spice and fruit. On the palate the wine has a supple power, the concentrated focused middle gives one a tubular sensation of polished richness. The flavors are nascent, brooding and developing in the glass. A long finish with just hints of barrel spice but remarkable power and palate persistence. A Blockbuster wine capable of long aging but with an hour or four of decanting now this wine will knock your socks off.

Staff ImageChris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 03, 2019

A sexy, modern Ribera del Duero, with plenty of the classic dark fruit and spice, but a poise and refined oak profile that pushes through the middle, past the denser core an into the prettier finish. The friendly star anise and slate flavors at the start give way to the elegant fruit and finally into a honeysuckle end. One more bottle to add to the "Good Reasons to Drink More Ribera," list.