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2020 Bela Ribera del Duero DO, Villalba del Duero, Spain (750ml)

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Bela was founded in 2017, when the Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE)—a family-owned winery founded in 1879 in Rioja—embarked on a new venture, focusing on estate vineyards located in Ribera del Duero. They built a state-of-the-art, 65,000ft² winery with an underground 10,000-barrel capacity cellar and fermentation area, and a beautifully designed wood and glass tasting room, perched above the plains of Ribera del Duero. The winery was named in honor of Sofia, daughter of Eusebio Real de Asúa (co-founder of CVNE), and the great-grandmother of the current managers. Her friends and family called her Bela. In fact, the three stars adorning the wine label (a remake of an old CVNE Monopole label from 1910), stands for Bela and her siblings, Áurea Minerva and Ramón.

The winery maintains 83 hectares of vineyards planted in two towns: Villaba de Duero and Moradillo de Roa. The Villalba vineyard—74 hectares surrounding the winery—produces strong wines with a rustic touch, while the 9-hectare Moradillo site brings complexity and finesse to the wines.

Bela is 100% Tinta del País, the local name for Tempranillo. The grapes, from 25-year-old vines, were hand-picked and carefully sorted. They then underwent cold maceration prior to fermentation with selected yeasts in stainless-steel tanks. The wine was aged for six months in American and French new and one-year-old oak barrels, then matured for 3 months in bottle before its release.

Dark Garnet. Aromas of dark berries mingled with vanilla and a touch of cedar. The palate is full and permeated with blackberry, dark plum, baking spice and firm tannins. The gripping mouthfeel is nicely balanced with a solid acid backbone, leading to a juicy, slightly spicy and tannic finish. Pair with your favorite cut of meat or a campfire-lit night.

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