Following the example of the numerous California growers who have become winemakers, Spanish couple Jose Maria Garcia and Milagros Figuero made the transition from selling quality grapes to some of Ribera del Duero’s top producers to crafting their own wines in their dedicated winery, which was completed in 2001. Tempranillo is the only grape planted on their estate, and about half of their vines are more than 60 years old. These older vines are harvested exclusively for the top-tier Noble. Only 700 cases of the dense and velvety Viñedos y Bodegas García Figuero 2004 Noble Ribera del Duero (www.quintessentialwines.com, $130) were made. Stunning plum, cassis, berries, and sweet oak overlay a gorgeous texture and rich, soft tannins. Long and intense without being overdone, this red wine shows amazing balance and style. Extraordinary.
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