Tempranillo For The 21st Century

Ribera Del Duero

Cepa 21 Map

Tempranillo is the main grape used in Spain. I have mentioned between different regions in Spain and the Country of Portugal the grape has over 200 Synonyms. The wine for today comes from the famous Ribera del Duero (The Duero River) which you can see on the map is south of Rioja along the Duero  River, north of Madrid. They make big muscular style Tempranillos in that region where the grape goes by the name Tinto Del Pais or more commonly Tinto Fino…both synonyms for Tempranillo

The Moro Brothers And Cepa 21

Cepa meaning in English Grapes or Rootstock and 21 for the 21st Century. Nearly 20 years ago, José Moro and siblings, the third generation of the family wine cellar Emilio Moro, started up an ambitious project that would set up the basis of modern wine making in Ribera del Duero. The Cepa 21’s original objective was to produce, using Tempranillo grapes as the main ingredient, wines that were based on wine making tradition and the region’s own terroir, but according to modern new trends. All in all, pure breed wines for consumers from the twenty first century. Check out the vineyards.

Cepa 21 Vineyards

2015 Cepa 21 Ribera Del Duero

Cepa Front

Cepa Rear

in 2015 the temperatures were higher than usual in the months of April until mid July, which provoked a great development in the vegetative cycle. The occasional rains helped to overcome the high temperatures of that time. Once the colors of the grapes changed, night temperatures dropped significantly while daytime temperature variations averaged 25 Degrees Celsius or bout 80-85 degrees F. This enormously helped the maturation of the grapes and resulted in an extraordinary vintage and a powerful vintage. The soil type is Chalk and Clay. The alcohol content is usual on a good vintage for that area 14.5%. Malolactic Fermentation took place for 18 days in steel tanks and then 12 months in French Oak and by my nose, I can say a lot if not all was New. Both James Suckling and Wine Spectator scored this wine and 2015 vintage 92 points out of their 100 point scale. Let’s taste.

My Review

Cepa Glass 2

I let the wine breathe for 1 hour in a decanter with a slight chill down to 68 degrees. The wine displayed as you can see typical dark purple almost black in the center for a Ribera Del Duero wine with just a very slight lighter hue on the rim as the wine is still a baby. On the nose very intense aromatics that match up with the 2015 vintage of tons of Blackberry, Black Cherry and Blueberry, and in the background, licorice and smoke almost a scorched earthiness. On the palate a very medium to full sleekness to this wine with powerful intensity of the fruits with some chewy, grippy tannins but well integrated yet a juicy balsamic finish provided just the right amount of acidity to push the fruit flavors to a very  long finish. I like this wine and I really like this vintage. I would like to re-visit this wine in 5 years to see it softens up a bit and for a slight bit of overuse of the Oak I deducted some points that my colleagues gave and will score this wine a 90+ out of 100. Again the point system as the previous video blog pointed out, is just a guideline.

The Summary

I think big bold red wine drinkers will love this wine if they give it the proper aeration and would like it better if they let it age for a couple of years. For A Ribera Del Duero the asking price of $29.99 or $30 bucks is average. On my QPR scale I personally think that there are wines coming in about $8-10 less from other regions of the world that could provide the same boldness and style of this wine. If you love Spanish Wine especially Tempranillo from this great region.. 2015 Cepa 21 is a solid effort from a solid vintage and produced in a modern style that fits the winery name….for the 21st Century! A great Steak Or Aged Cheese Wine.

Grape-fully yours, Larry

Cepa 21 Logo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s