Abadía Retuerta, sampling secret luxuries
Six new vintages, a Michelin star, 700 hectares of land, and a twelfth-century abbey converted into a luxury hotel. I’m talking about Abadía Retuerta and its vineyards, dedicated to the production of terroir wines since 1996, and its 5-star hotel, the Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine (Sardón de Duero, Valladolid). Both offer unique experiences where people can get to know new wines full of color, aromas and flavors, bringing further evidence that 2014 was a great year for wine. Salvador Dalí once said that a person who knows how to taste wine never actually drinks wine, but rather they taste secrets. Good wine offers uncorked secrets with a taste of fruit. Prepare to have your senses intoxicated with the sheer expectation generated by some of these Sardón de Duero wines.
Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis bought the land back in 1988. In 1991 they started to replant the vines and in 1996 they produced their first wine. Each one of Abadía Retuerta’s different vineyard sites gives a different type of wine, with its own characteristics derived from the particular piece of land in question in terms of aromas, structure, color, and harmony.
The names of these wines are: Special selection 2011, Pago Negralada, Pago Garduña, and Pago Valdebellón; Petit Verdot 2012 and el Blanco LeDomaine 2014. Prices range from €19.90 to €120 for the Petit Verdot 2012. They were all presented in society last week at The Craft, Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine’s premises in Madrid, having come from Ribera del Duero to the very heart of Madrid’s golden mile. A taste of luxury, born to be a success. These wines are in perfect harmony with the cocktail offered by Pablo Montero, the chef at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine, who was awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant Refectorio. It’s an investment in creativity and innovation, in tradition, and in the use of local ingredients.
Each plot contains a sole variety of grape. Seventy percent are Tempranillo grapes, 10% are Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% are Syrah. The remaining 10% is divided into Merlot, Petit Verdot and some varieties of white grapes which until 2011 were used in experimental form only.
Special selection 2011 is the vineyard’s best seller and a reward for consistency. They say that it’s a very balanced wine, harmonious, extremely rich and incredibly expressive. LeDomaine 2014 is the perfect white wine, different, the first and to date the winery’s only white. It is a Guarda del Terroir blend, the fruit of 18 years of research, obtained from Sauvignon Blanc vines planted 20 years ago, enriched by a touch of Verdejo grapes and other white varieties. Negralada is a mature red made of Tempranillo grapes, with fragrant aromas of strawberry, licorice, aromatic herbs and a soupcon of minerals. It has received international awards. Garduña is an elegant wine made exclusively from the Syrah variety of grape, offering a deep color with a hint of cherry and a spicy and floral bouquet. Previous vintages have had an excellent reputation and this is no exception. Valdebellón 2012 has a big personality, an intense red, made entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from land with a large amount of limestone, that also benefits from its own microclimate, giving off a delicate aroma of sweet herbs, exotic fruits and minerals, coupled with a distinct redcurrant bouquet.
Petit Verdot 2012 is an exquisite wine. La Petit Verdot, the most exotic of the Bordeax vines, forms the base of this original wine. Abadía Retuerta has leveraged the potential of this grape to the full to create a highly original wine made of one variety of grape. Its production is very limited and select. It has an intense vermillion color and velvety taste, and an elegant and subtle bouquet, with a touch of mocha. My favorites are the elegant Garduña, one of the best Syrah wines that goes with everything, and the Le Domaine 2014, a perfect white wine to drink with a Torta del Casar.
Swiss multinational Novartis has applied the group’s philosophy to the wine production cycle. All the wines are produced in the winery, created and designed by French wine expert Pascal Delbeck, and finished off by vine grower and wine expert Ángel Anocíbar. This winery is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced in Europe. It was actually one of the first centers in Spain to invest in the movement of wine based exclusively on gravity, a system that prevents all unnecessary movement of the developing wine. It uses a system of deposits raised using crane mechanisms and its own patented wine extraction system.
The land, the grape, the perfect raw materials create wines that offer color, aroma, flavor and taste – secrets ready to be uncorked. Photographs: Abadía Retuerta.
My weekly tip. An exhibition: “What is Luxury?” This is a must for anyone interested in the luxury industry, running from April 25 to September 27 in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It takes a look at luxury in terms of creativity, craftsmanship, how it is seen, and its future. In the Porter Gallery room of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. From 10am to 5.30pm, 9.30pm on Fridays. Entrance is free of charge, make clic here to buy it.