26 Mar Abadia Retuerta – The Abbey of the Twisted River
Want to dream about a place to visit? Perhaps dream about ABADIA RETUERTA LeDOMAINE located just outside the Ribera del Duero region in Spain. During a recent visit of General Manager Enrique Valero Quintana to Los Angeles, I met with him and tasted the wines of Abadia Retuerta. The wines were fantastic and the images of the winery, and hotel, had me fantasizing about my next trip. You can read about it in my recent column in the Napa Valley Register, shared here.
The Duero River starts in the north of Spain and travels 460 miles through Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the river, there are several recognized wine-producing regions, including Ribera del Duero in Spain. Just outside the Ribera del Duero wine region sits a unique destination, Abadia Retuerta, the Abbey of the Twisted River.
General Manager Enrique Valero Quintana recently visited the United States to tease and entice me about this special property. Abadia Retuerta is the 12th century abbey of Santa María de Retuerta, which has been restored, rebuilt and converted into a five-star hotel with a one-Michelin star restaurant and winery.
While Enrique Valero Quintana could only tempt me to visit the distinct property, where they tout having the only spa in the world with a spa sommelier, he was able to share the wines from Abadia Retuerta.
Le Domaine is made with 80 percent Sauvignon Blanc with 20 percent Verdejo, which is barrel fermented on the lees with battonage. The first vintage of the wine was in 2011, the same year it won best white wine in Spain. The straw-colored 2016 has an intense, bright, aromatic nose with notes of grapefruit, pineapple, green apple and white flowers. On the palate, the wine has a round mouthfeel with more weight on the mid-palate than what was anticipated by the nose. Good acidity and a long finish, this is a white wine that can age for five or 10 years.
Quintana brought three vintages of the Pago Negralada to try. The 2014 Pago Negralada has an intense nose with aromas of dark red fruit, brown sweet spices and cedar. On the palate, sandy tannins coat the tongue and the wine has a long finish.
Pago Valdebéllon is made with Cabernet Sauvignon, which has adapted well to the region. The Cabernet Sauvignon grows on a limestone-rich terroir, and after maceration, it spends 17 months aging in new French oak barrels.
Enjoying these wines over lunch with Enrique Valero Quintana, with photos of the property in the background, I was utterly enamored, and I would find my mind wandering off as I dreamt about sipping these wines at Abadia Retuerta. Perhaps the next time I drink them, that is where I will be.
Read the original story in the Napa Valley Register.