Although there are many great regions in Spain for Tempranillo, Tinto Fino, or any of the many names that different parts of Spain call this varietal, I have to say that for my money Ribera del Duero gives me the most bang for my buck. This example from the 2004 vintage is no exception to that rule, and delivers whole lot of bold, juicy flavor with finesse for a mere $14.
Made from 100% Tinto Fino that is aged in French and American oak for 12 months, the Valdrinal Crianza Ribera del Duero 2004 is deep garnet red in color. The nose brings cherry and dark plum fruit with an earthy element that brings an added dimension to the bouquet. On the palate you get a healthy dose of cherry fruit up front with notes of earth, cedar, and spice on the finish. Acidity that is just right and very nice tannins that are clearly present but not overwhelming make this a well balanced, very food friendly wine.
Overall, this is one heck of a bargain that brings a fantastic balance between fruit and finesse for under $15! This wine would work very well with a wide variety of dishes, but like any really good Spanish wine, it leaves me wanting some Jamon Iberico, Manchego and Zamarano cheese, and other delicious hot or cold tapas.
On a side note, I got this from the new Stew Leonard's store in Carle Place, NY where the staff was friendly and helpful and very knowledgeable. The key to any good wine store is a knowledgeable staff.