Third generation winemaker José Moro returned to a virtual setting to showcase three wines from Cepa 21 Winery, the sister winery to Emilio Moro Bodegas. Like it's sibling Cepa 21 is located in Ribera del Duero D.O., the highest appellation in Spain. Despite the elevation, the region enjoys a Mediterranean growing climate with more than 2,400 hours of sunshine, little rainfall, and extreme temperature changes between day and night. The Duero River provides both a water supply and a moderating affect on temperatures. The soils are a mixture of chalk, clay, and rocky textures.
Cepa 21 was formed by José and his brother Javier in 2007 with the goal of providing approachable fruit forward wines representing both quality and value. And like the Emilio Moro Bodegas, all the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) wines are made using the family's unique Emilo Moro clone. Cepa 21 utilizes three vineyards: The Vega, The Hillsides, and The Plateau. The later has the highest elevation at 2,625+ feet and is the source for two of the wines we sampled: the Cepa 21 and Malabrigo.
Hito 2014 ($16) (hito means milestone) - aged 8 months in American and French oak; jammy and juicy blackberries, licorice, with solid acids and tannin. This wine nails the winery's goal to provide high quality and value.
Cepa 21 2011 ($25) - aged 14 months in American and French oak; big, chewy, spicy, minerals, structured tannins. The label refers to their grandfather's plow and honors the labor intensive nature of grape agriculture. This is another fantastic wine
Malabrigo 2011 ($70) - harvested from a single vineyard and aged 18 months in oak; integrated dark fruit, sweet texture, structured tannins. The label expresses Moro's memories of winter pruning and sitting sown afterwards admiring the vineyard. What this wine requires in price, it returns in delicious quality. The most interesting aspect is the delicate sweetness on the palate which blends seamlessly into the creamy texture. Quite an exceptional wine.