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Bodegas Resalte – Reinterpreting Ribera del Duero

The modern winery is building a fresh interpretation of the renowned DO built upon terroir expressiveness and tradition

Since its founding in 2000, Bodegas Resalte has established a reputation as one of the wineries leading the transformation of DO Ribera del Duero over the past two decades. Combining traditional winemaking with state-of-the-art technology, Resalte produces a range of premium wines focused on balance and terroir expressiveness that offers a new interpretation of the renowned DO.

Diversity and precision

Resalte benefits from a variety of terroirs spread across Ribera del Duero. With 80 hectares of vineyards – 40 years old on average – sitting at altitudes between 700 and 970 metres, the winery benefits from a mosaic of terroirs that deliver distinctive renditions of Ribera’s flagship grape variety, Tinta del País (the local phenotypic variation of Tempranillo). This gives Resalte’s winemakers a palette of expressions, vinified and aged separately, that form the building blocks of the estate’s wines.

From the vineyard to the cellar, Resalte’s approach is focused on precision and acute attention to the nuances of the fruit profile yielded by each parcel. All the work in the cellar is done by gravity, extractions are gentle and the ageing process and vessel is tailored to each plot – all to preserve and respect the character and idiosyncrasies of each terroir and vintage. This same respect has prompted the team to explore different ageing vessels and sizes, with an increasing focus on larger-size wood, concrete and clay, in order to avoid masking and constraining the personality of the wines. Each plot and vintage tells its own story – and the team at Resalte are careful listeners.

Deserved recognition

Resalte’s efforts have been met with great enthusiasm by international critics and industry professionals – not least Decanter contributors and DWWA judges, who have singled out the quality of the producer’s wines on multiple occasions. In a Ribera del Duero Panel Tasting featured in Decanter’s latest issue, Resalte’s Vendimia Seleccionada 2021 received a spectacular 95-point nod from the magazine’s expert panel. The judges praised the wine’s ‘rounded elegance’, ‘refreshing acidity, subtle polished tannins and round silky finish’ with ‘beautiful red fruits’. Hailing from vines planted 970 metres above sea level, Vendimia Seleccionada epitomises Resalte’s focus on aromatic nuance, freshness and terroir expressiveness. The wine sits alongside three other Tempranillos – Origen de Resalte, Expresión and Gran Resalte – in Resalte’s premium collection.

Resalte’s vineyards in Peñafiel

Flagship range

Origen de Resalte is a blend of parcels from seven different municipalities, vinified and aged separately for 14 months. The final blend is made with the aim of bringing the best aspect of each location to the forefront, while reaching an overall balance, representative of Ribera del Duero as whole, that combines the region’s trademark structure, assertiveness and power with tension and elegance.

Resalte Expresión, meanwhile, is a limited edition produced with fruit from bush-trained, low-yielding plots averaging 60 years old in the villages of Fuentenebro and La Aguilera. The former’s red clay soils contribute robustness, structure and depth to the final blend; in counterpoint, the latter’s more calcareous soils add fresh minerality. The blend develops a particular balance and expression by a period ageing in concrete, while retaining its purity of fruit. In 2017, Expresión’s 2011 release was awarded a Gold Medal (98 points) at the DWWA with the judges praising its ‘great concentration and freshness’.

Finally, Gran Resalte is a product of great attention and craftsmanship. Produced in selected vintages only, when the quality is deemed excellent, it uses fruit from 100-year-old vineyards located near Anguix, one of the most treasured (and still somewhat undiscovered) villages of Ribera del Duero. The grapes are pressed by foot for the gentlest of extractions and the must is then naturally fermented in open barrels in which the cap is mobilised by hand. Two years of ageing (one in 500l barrels and the second in 2000l foudres) follow; the wine then undergoes a final settling and clarification process (by gravity only) in concrete vats prior to bottling. The result is a wine of extraordinary aromatic and structural detail, with great ageing potential, that not only showcases the best of Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero but, above all, the talent and passion of Resalte’s winemaking team.

Resalte’s four takes on Tempranillo have recently been joined by a white companion, Albor de Resalte, following the DO’s addition of the native white grape Albillo Mayor to the list of permitted varieties. The wine puts Albillo’s aromatic complexity centre stage, with layers of ripe citrus underpinned by floral and spicy notes, while also taking advantage of its affinity with oak: aged for 12 months in a combination of French oak barriques and concrete tanks, Albor develops a Burgundian poise, with creaminess and mid-palate weight offset by vibrant acidity.

Despite their very different identities and sub-regional focuses, these five wines all convey the principles that have guided Resalte throughout its 24-year history: at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, the winery embraces the uniqueness of Ribera del Duero’s terroirs while reaching out to a new audience of wine connoisseurs worldwide.


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