Roman Aqueduct, Segovia
K&L staff member Sarah Covey is on location in Ribera del Duero! Follow her adventures on Uncorked!
Ribera Del Duero is broken down into 4 main provinces of Castilla y Leon: Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. Our first stop after the Madrid airport was Segovia. Segovia is a tiny town with multiple churches, monuments, and most importantly- the town's famous specialty: Cochinillo. After wandering the town, we hit up the restaurant where we had our little cochinillo- which I quickly learned meant roasted suckling pig.
Jose Maria Restaurant
There was nothing that could quite prepare me for the sight of my little roasted piggies for lunch, but thankfully there was an appetizer of deep fried piggies which preceded it, accompanied by my first Ribera Del Duero wine in country: the Pago de Carraovejas 2011. Not officially classified as a Cosecha, or Joven, wine because it had not been in bottle long enough, it was made by the owners of the restaurant specifically for use in the restaurant. Delicious and just what our jet-lagged selves were needing!
Then, with much fanfare, they brought out the little roasted piggies, which had been roaming around Segovia not 2 days before...
The cochinillo were then ceremoniously whacked over their little noggins and down their spines with a ceramic plate, and then the plate was thrown onto the floor to break so as to prove to us at the table that there was no steel in the plate- the piggies were just that crispy and juicy. Quite a show!
From Segovia we drove to our home base for the week- Penafiel, where we have been staying in the hotel owned and operated by the famous Ribera winemaker Alejandro Fernandez of Tinto Pesquera. His family runs the hotel in addition to other parts of his winemaking business. The hotel is a beautiful interpretation of the classic architecture of the town and the more modern Spanish architecture, with stylistic accents which are similar to the Tinto Pesquera bottle labels.
The view from our hotel of the Castille de Penafiel is an incredible backdrop to ponder our experiences in the region...
91 ST: "Deep, bright violet. Blackberry, cherry-vanilla and licorice on the oak-spiced nose. Deep, sweet and pliant, but with very good juicy character and spicy lift to its dark fruit preserve and licorice flavors. Finishes velvety and long, with fine-grained tannins, a repeating notes of licorice and impressive clarity."
Sarah C. Covey
Wine Sales Professional
K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City