Penalba Lopez

Founded in 1903, long before anyone went wild for Ribera del Duero, this family winery has weathered a good few ups and downs. Finca Torremilanos is the label for Ribera del Duero, Peñalba López for other appellations. There are old vines here – a quarter of the vines are 60-plus, and some are as old as 150 years, and a raft of varieties are grown, whites as well as reds. We take a handful of wines (they make 14 in all: Ricardo is a restless soul) ranging from entry-level to fairly expensive, but the white Peñalba López Blanco defies all categorization. Made from Sauvignon Blanc, Viura, Albillo, and Tempranillo Blanco, which sounds safe enough, this is a wine with character. It’s salty and soft: I think of it as candied iodine.