Considered by many to be the best young winemaker in Ribera del Duero, Francisco Barona grew up in a family of humble viticulturists in Roa de Duero, and as a third generation farmer travelled to Bordeaux to work at Chateau Pavie-Macquin and study at the University of Bordeaux. In 2010 he returned home and founded his estate in Ribera del Duero. Barona's youngest vineyard was planted in 1948, and is leading the charge in Ribera away from commercialization and towards a recovery of what made Ribera del Duero famous - traditionally farmed, old field blended vineyards of Tinto Fino planted at high altitudes.
This is primarily Tinto Fino (Tempranilllo), intermixed in the vineyards with Garnacha Tinta, Albillo, Bobal, Jaen, and a host of other field blended indigenous varieties.
Francisco owns 45 Ha. of old field-blend vineyards planted in the villages of Roa, Anguix, Pedrosa de Duero, and La Aguilera between the years 1908-1948.
Barona obstains from the use of chemically synthesized fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides, and does not irrigate. He works where necessary with cover crop to support the plant's natural defenses and to fix nitrogen in the soil. Barona does not defoliate to ensure that the clusters ripen in the shade.
After a rigorous sorting of the grapes, the bunches are destemmed but not crushed. The grapes are transferred by gravity to open top stainless steel vats where fermentation begins spontaneously without inoculation. Maceration is very gentle and manual punchdowns are carried out once per day during the maceration to limit over-extraction of the concentrated fruit. Malolactic fermentation in new French barrique. Aged for 16 months in new French barrique.
"Francisco Barona is one of the most exciting young producers in Ribera del Duero right now. This blend of mostly Tinto Fino with Bobal, Garnacha and various white varieties, comes from old vine parcels in Anguix, La Aguilera, La Horra and Roa is typically plush, scented and complex. Incense, rosemary and wild thyme aromas segue into a full-bodied, well-structured, dark -fruited palate that's textured and energetic, despite its 15% alcohol. Drink 2025-35” - 96 points, Tim Atkin
Producer: Francisco Barona
Region: Castilla y León
Appellation: Ribera del Duero
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