2012 Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial

Year: 2012
Appellation: Sardon de Duero
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

2016 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100: #12

"A polished texture carries harmonious flavors of black cherry, cola, licorice and mineral in this focused red. Well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity lend this a balanced structure. Reserved but deep. Drink now through 2022. -T.M" (WS)

"The entry-level red and largest volume of Abadía Retuerta, the 2012 Selección Especial, is nothing like the initial oaky versions of it you might remember. This is produced as a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah from the 54 separate plots that they have identified in their 180 hectares of vineyards. This 2012 matured in French (60%) and American (40%) oak barrels for 14 months, a slightly shorter time than in previous vintages. The casks were one third new, one third second use and one third third use. This is the wine that has improved the most, and it's now a fine, elegant wine with restrained power, true to the place where it's born and the vintage when the grapes are harvested. This is the highly recommended wine from the winery. All grapes ripened properly in 2012 and the Cabernet feels very integrated; there are some spicy aromas intermixed with the wild berry aromas, developing some balsamic undertones, licorice and a little bit of toast. It is very subtle and nicely compact. The texture is very fine with dusty tannins, good acidity and freshness. It is long, balanced and supple, with power and elegance. The wine is approachable now and with stuffing to age. It is a great value and highly recommended. The 1,250 barrels filled 350,000 bottles, 11,290 magnums and 300 double magnums, so the wine should be readily available.

Abadía Retuerta belongs to the chemical multinational Novartis. Located just outside the limits of the Ribera del Duero appellation, they have 180 hectares of vineyards planted between 1991 and 1994 in the village of Sardón de Duero, where the hidden radar almost guarantees a speeding ticket to any foreign wine lover (read non-local rather) driving through the N-122 road that connects some of the most renowned names of the Duero wine.

2012 is a very good vintage here, combining the elegance of 2010 and the power of 2009. These are modern, concentrated wines in search of more elegance and better integration of the wood, as the vineyards mature and there is more wine in the bottle and less oak." (WA)

"Few wines offer as much as this for under $30, but this extracted, bullish Tempranillo blend is not for everyone. Blackberry, cola and savory herbal aromas are strong and pure. This feels wide and cushioned, yet is still a driller. Blackberry, cassis and chocolate flavors finish rich and ripe. Drink through 2024." (WE)


For several years now I’ve been firmly holding the view that as a generality the best red wines in the world that retail in the $15 to say $50/$60 range very frequently comes from various areas of Spain. Such a wine, that superbly fits this accolade, is this Selection Especial (special selection) 2012 $22.95 estate grown Abadia Retuerta from the Castilla y Leon area of central Spain. A wine that is a fascinating wonderful blend of 76% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah-a combination that works out superbly in this medium to full-bodied elegant winner.

Sometimes Tempranillo can be almost delicate to a fault. Such is certainly not the case with this Spanish blend. First of all Tempranillo from the Castilla y Leon area are generally fuller and rounder then the more usually seen Rioja Tempranillo as is evident in this wine. Add to it the richness, and herbaceous as well as predominate flavor of cherries and cassis and hints of winning earthiness that both Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah add to a wine and you will discover the attributes that these two later varieties add to this remarkable $22.95 winner!

Now very enjoyable the wine may even gain for another year or two and keep well into the mid-2020’s.


PRICE: $22.95 ****bargain WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

Winery Notes:
This is our best-known wine worldwide. Produced from a selection of the best grapes from each of our vineyards, it combines the richness of a Tempranillo and the elegance of a Cabernet Sauvignon with the strength of a Syrah.

Dark red colour with a clean, complex and fresh nose. On the palate, it has an intense fruity touch, mainly of red fruits. Aged 16 months in French and American oak barrels, the wood infuses notes of cedar, pastry and dark roasting. It attacks the palate politely but firmly.

In 2005, Abadía Retuerta Selección Especial 2001 received the award at the International Wine Challenge in London as the world's best red wine. This is a very well-balanced wine, harmonious, with a rich bouquet and incredible expressiveness.

Worthy fruit of the vine and of a job well done.

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