Goyo Garcia Joven De Vinas Viejas Ribera del Duero 2021
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Press 4 Red • December 2023 Direct Press Selection
Goyo Garcia Viadero and wife Diana Semova Georgieva are making some of Spain's most revered natural wines by expressing the extreme climate of Ribera del Duero with finesse instead of power. They are of the earliest generation of natural winemakers. As natural wine continues to grow in popularity it makes me respect some of the pioneers of the movement even more. They had few peers, a lot of resistance to their methods, and little critical support. These were people so captivated by their first brushes with raw, unadulterated wines that they changed the course of their careers and lives to pursue this new direction. Goyo Garcia Viadero, unlike natural winemakers in fringe appellations, embarked on his adventure in a region known around the world for big, powerful (and often very expensive), red wines—for instance, Vega Sicilia. This makes his journey and wines all the more intriguing. To this day, he uses zero sulfur and makes wines that feature individual vineyard parcels, some interplanted with white grapes, a very old local practice.
This so-called "young wine from old vines" is the only Goyo Garcia wine not aged in old French oak, but in steel tank. The juicy and grape-y aromas of the wine are met on the palate with the brambly blackberry you'd expect from ripe Tempranillo, but also tart cranberry and crabapple notes. These add texture and herbal crunch to the soft, easy fruit. It's so irresistible you can't be blamed for enjoying it in thirst-quenching gulps, but it has a coy complexity that belies its youthful energy. Despite zero added sulfur, they aren't too funky and barnyard-y, either. The wines manage a brilliant balance between edgy rawness and heady ripeness. Some wines hit you more in the intellectual center of the brain, some more in the heart, some more in the gut. Goyo and Diana's wines are for the soul—and they are wines that can be shared by everyone. Jonathan Kemp