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Ribera del Duero, Pesquera de Duero — spend too much time in these parts and you might start to think Alejandro Fernández can walk on water. To say Fernández is a legend in Ribera del Duero would be a gross understatement – he pretty much placed this region on the map in the 1980s and, although he is now well into his eighties, he refuses to slow down. Each day, after his customary two glasses of red wine for breakfast (Dehesa la Granja if you must know), he drives from Zamora (where Dehesa la Granja is based), two hours west, to his other estates in Pesquera or Condado de Haza.

It's certainly no exaggeration to suggest that Señor Tempranillo is one of these innovators and, what’s more, that he is directly implicated in the current viticultural renaissance that we are witnessing in Spain. The wines of Alejandro Fernández remain some of the very best of their genre, part of a select group of deliciously enduring, thought-provoking Spanish wines that have one foot firmly planted in the “old school”, with the other in modern Europe. These are not wines for technicians, but they are always deliciously engaging, characterful, textured and unique. Descriptors like smashable and crunchy don’t apply here, and from talking to Alejandro Fernández there are no plans afoot to reinvent the wheel (although we did hear whispers of a joven cuvée). His wine’s popularity hinges on a timeless fulcrum of ripe and silky cherry/cola fruit complexed by bloody, animal and leather notes with age, classical tannins and the freshness of the altitudes and continental climes in which he works. Welcome back to the old school, we hope you enjoy your stay…by Bibendum Wine Co.

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