The Headlands of the Duero – Wine & Spirits Magazine

The Headlands of the Duero


The barrio de las bodegas in Soria. Winemaker Jaime Suárez sources half of the grapes for his Atalayas de Golbán crianza from local growers. Photo by José Ignacio Berdon.

The team at Dominio de Atauta developed this project based at a separate facility in town, working with fruit from local growers in Soria. Half of their crianza comes from these high-elevation sites, planted in sandy soils at altitudes up to 3,200 feet where the vines are 70 to 80 years old. The other half is from vineyards in Burgos, mostly La Horra and Roa, where 30-year-old vines grow in clay. Winemaker Jaime Suárez says the only difference between this wine and La Celestina Crianza (also recommended in the June issue) is that the better grape selection goes to La Celestina. And yet, this wine blew me away. A week later, in the company of the top wines of our Ribera del Duero tastings, it was still holding its own—not complex, like what turned out to be several Vega-Sicilia wines, but fresh and delicious. I can’t say I wasn’t bemused (confused… embarrassed…) to find out this is a $19 wine. Its time in French oak barrels (20 percent new) points up the luxurious texture, a silken richness to frame the layers of red and black-skinned fruit—the acidity of fresh currants and the warm sunshine of blackberries. It’s a savory tempranillo, all of a piece, and that integration sustains it…if you don’t immediately finish the bottle with a dinner of roast lamb. Astonishing.

Aviva Vino, NY

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Atalayas de Golbán 2017 Ribera del Duero Torre de Golbán Crianza Tempranillo (Best Buy)

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.


This story appears in the print issue of June 2021.
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