Robert Parker, 95 pts
"Selección Especial is Abadía Retuerta's reliable red blend produced in enough quantities to have good availability and with an approachable and easy-to-understand profile that reached great quality with the 2016 Selección Especial, from one of the best vintages in recent times in the region. It's 75% Tempranillo, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, 3% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, a blend that can change with the conditions of the year, as it's decided by tasting the wines. If in the past this wine was quite oaky, this 2016 feels quite integrated and balanced, ripe and medium-bodied, with a soft and tender palate, round tannins, and moderate influence from the élevage of 13 months in French and American oak barrels. This comes from a cuvée of 1,675 barrels that produced wine to fill 453,000 bottles, 22,500 magnums, and 1,100 double magnums. The quality is awesome for the volume produced. It was bottled between mid-May and early July 2018."
James Suckling, 93 pts
"This is a stunning Ribera that shows a plethora of finely judged mulberries, blackberries, oyster shell, rust, iron, citrus, vanilla, undergrowth, and licorice. Full-bodied and powerful with muscular tannins, but a wealth of dark fruit. Long and chewy on the finish. Drink in 2025."
Abadia Retuerta Winery. Credit: www.abadia-retuerta.com
The Santa Maria lot and its Abbey are some of the most remarkable historic landmarks in the area. Although this winery is not under Ribera del Duero entirely, part of it does lie within Ribera's geographic limits, in what many call "La Milla de Oro" (The golden mile) thanks to illustrious neighbors such as Vega Sicilia, Pingus, Arzuaga, and others. This (modern) winery hasn't been around as long as it might look like - It wasn't until 1996, thanks to the financial muscle of the pharma group Novartis, that this ambitious project took place.
Common to the area, Abadia Retuerta planted mostly Tempranillo, although they're constantly innovating and have included multiple varieties which they're doing a lot of research on (Benefits of being out of the Ribera del Duero appellation, which strictly regulates varieties) such as Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, Petit Verdot and, most recently, Graciano, which didn't usually ripen in this area in the past but now does.
Abadia Retuerta is a complete experience, as it has one of the best-ranked hotels in Spain by Tripadvisor, a luxurious 5-start Hotel and Spa with a Michelin star in-house retaurant choice to enjoy.