Bodegas Emilio Moro
Ribera del Duero
Though the official D.O. of Ribera del Duero was only established in 1982, in practice, winemaking in Ribera dates back over 2,000 years to the Roman era. The area did not produce much before the mid-1800’s, focusing primarily on Roses and bulk farming. It was not until wineries such as Vega Sicilia and Pesquera were established that the Ribera area became known for bigger, bolder reds, competing with the more well-known Rioja. Today, small family bodegas stretching back generations sit alongside modern corporate wineries. The success of these more established producers has inspired local growers and winemakers of Ribera to focus on making high quality reds, helping the area as a whole to gain international appeal.
Similar to Rioja in that both areas make age-worthy Tempranillo based wines, the Rioja and Ribera regions are stylistically very distinct. The Tempranillo grape, also known locally as Tinto Fino, is the main grape varietal in Ribera del Duero. The DO also allows for the use of several new world varietals in the blending process. Located to the South East of Rioja in the Duero Valley, Ribera is known for hot summers with cool nights and the fine layers of silt and clay soils created by the Duero River, producing riper fruit, and a darker, richer wine than the traditional Rioja blends.
Emilio Moro is a family-owned winery with over 120 years of winemaking history in Ribera del Duero.The family owns several parcels in Pesquera del Duero, a wine area where some of the flagship wines of the Ribera del Duero appellation are produced. Though allowed to use other grapes in blending, Emilio Moro wines consist of 100% Tempranillo. The first vineyards were planted in 1932 – in the year of the founder, Emilio Moro’s birth – and the winery works with a pure clone of the Tempranillo transplanted from their earliest vines for each of their single vineyard bottlings.
Finca Resalso is the name of the Bodega Moro’s oldest vineyard, planted in 1932- the year of Emilio Moro’s birth. Resalso is also a genetic goldmine of Tempranillo, it provides the clonal selection cuttings which become the young vines of all the Moro vineyards. The Finca Resalso bottling commemorates this treasured ground, being the product of both Resalso vines and re-located Resalso cuttings. We cannot name a more true tempranillo under $15 / bottle; and we’ve the good fortune at this time to offer a choice of two vintages- the final few cases of the classic 2010 and a ‘masivo’ arrival today of the more precocious 2011.
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Finca Resalso 2010 ($17.95) $14 special
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Saturated ruby. Primary dark berry and cherry skin aromas are complicated by notes of rose and anise. Juicy and precise on the palate, with very good energy to its redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors. Finishes tight and energetic, with the redcurrant and anise notes repeating. This is a baby.”
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Finca Resalso 2011 ($17.95) $10.90 super special
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Dark purple. Intense, spice-accented aromas and flavors of cherry compote and cassis, with cola nuance building with air. Sappy, penetrating and extremely young, but promising, with strong finishing cut and silky tannins.”
…. This bottling is the heart of the winery, made from their 15-30 year old vines plus declassifications from their higher priced older-vine cuvees. Once produced as both a Crianza and a Reserva, since 1998 Moro has dispensed with those classifications and combined to a single bottling which is aged 12 months in barrel and whatever period is thought best in bottle before release.
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero ‘Emilio Moro’ 2009 ($27.95) $39 super special
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Glass-staining ruby. Seductive aromas of blackberry and blueberry preserves, cherry-cola and rose, with a sexy incense note and a touch of allspice. Stains the palate with dark berry compote and spicecake flavors, with zesty minerality adding cut. Blends depth and vivacity smoothly, finishing with impressive clarity, a kiss of vanillin oak and lingering sweetness.”
The Malleolus is drawn from the Bodega’s older vines, principally from the Camino Viejo vineyard. It is a very full, intense, yet velvety wne.
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Malleolus 2009 ($49.95) $39 special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Opaque purple. A heady, complex bouquet evokes blackberry and blackcurrant liqueur, with suave oak spice and potpourri elements. Sweet, broad and pliant, the intense dark fruit flavors showing great power, richness and depth. Very young but flat-out seductive, finishing on a sweet, sappy note of candied dark fruits, with lush, harmonious tannins. I also had the chance to revisit this bodega’s ultra-premium Malleolus de Sanchomartin and Malleolus de Valderramiro from the 2008 vintage (reviewed last year), and while both wines are years from maturity they show strikingly flamboyant character and make a serious impression right now. I suppose I’d feel some guilt pangs if I opened either of them now, but it would be guilt I could deal with after asking for mercy from the wine gods.”
Wine Advocate 97-100 points “The 2009 Malleolus de Valderramiro was tasted from a barrel sample. Opaque purple in color, it offers up an alluring bouquet of Asian spices, incense, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry. Dense, rich, and full-bodied, it has great flavors and balance. Once in bottle it looks to be a candidate for perfection.”
Wine Advocate 97-100 points “The 2009 Malleolus de Sanchomartin was tasted from a barrel sample. Opaque purple in color with lovely floral aromas, Asian spices, and incense, on the palate it effortlessly combines power with elegance. It has superb grip, great volume, and plush, succulent fruit. It has the structure to evolve for 8-10 years and should drink well through 2040.”