This is the fourth time I’ve selected my favourite Ribera del Dueros. The latest Top 100 was chosen from 406 samples, which included wines from nearly all of the region’s leading bodegas. Normally my pick is made in Spain, but in 2020 it was all done in London, aided by over 30 Zoom calls with producers. While some of the wines I chose consistently make the Top 100, it was good to welcome 29 new brands to the winners’ podium, including two white Riberas for the first time.
My selection reflects the move towards greater elegance in Ribera del Duero, as well as towards wines that are increasingly village and parcel specific. The fact that the 2016 and 2018 vintages – both cooler, more “Atlantic” affairs – dominated my selection was no accident. Those are my kind of years. But, whatever the vintage conditions, Ribera del Duero is capable of enormous diversity – a diversity that deserves to be recognised.