Authentic Garage winery in Roa, Ribera del Duero, where Miguel and Javier take care of the whole process. 2 young guys (and Cristina in charge of PR, Miguel's sister) who know how to work on the vines, with some biodynamic practices and great respect for nature. I loved their wines, and how they approach their work/passion, that is why last time traveling in the area went to visit them. Keep an eye on these wines, they will only improve in future vintages.
External Reviews for Mibal Roble
Javier Ballesteros and Miguel Hornillo aren't much to look at, Gen Y slackers who met over beers, deciding to pool old vineyards that each had inherited, and attempt to make magic in the garage under Javier's apartment. Insanely limited yields mean production is tiny (only 750 cases of this wine are made), but in only its second vintage, Mibal has won acclaim and cast a spotlight on the northeast extreme of this region, where high elevation makes for super-expressive, aromatic, evocatively fruity Tempranillo, unlike any other in Spain.
The 2005 Mibal Tinto is an awesome value. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, it exhibits a dark ruby/purple color. The expressive nose delivers notes of smoke and grapy black currants followed by a silky smooth wine with layers of ripe, sweet fruit and no hard edges. This crowd-pleaser should be drunk over the next 12-18 months. A true "garage" Bodegas (the winery is in a garage in the town of Roa), these small production cuvées of 100% Tempranillo are uniformly outstanding.
The high altitude of the Ribera Del Duero region gives it the cool nights and the hot days that maximize the expression of the Tempranillo grape. At first, the sweet smell of springtime berries, a touch of smoke and vanilla lead you to a medium- to full-bodied wine. The finish is long and layered with raspberries and spice. One of the best values and most versatile wines in the store.
Bright ruby. Smoky raspberry and cherry-cola aromas are complemented by zesty white pepper and rose. Silky and sweet but youthfully tight, showing deep red berry preserve flavors, fine-grained tannins and good spicy bite. Leaves an exotic candied rose note behind on the vibrant, juicy finish. This really deserves a little bottle age.
Opens with abundant flavors of blueberry, cassis and crushed stone. Medium bodied, with mild acidity and subtle oak nuances.
The 2008 Mibal spent 12 months in French oak. Aromas of cedar, tobacco, spice box, and blackberry lead to a wine with elevated acidity on the palate, good flavors, ample tannin, and enough fruit for balance. Give it 1-2 years to fill out and drink it from 2011 to 2018.
In May, 2008, I traveled to the small town of Roa in Spain to meet winemaker Miguel Hornillos. MiBal is a small production "garagiste" winery; the winemaking facility is literally in a converted garage, with an apartment upstairs to boot. Their vineyards are in the cooler eastern part of Ribera del Duero in high-altitude, relatively flat sites. Why is that important? Long days and very cool nights, where there can be an almost fifty degree swing in temperature, create structured, darker colored and more aromatic wines than those produced further to the west. The 2006 MiBal Tinto is no exception. Made of 100% tank fermented Tempranillo, it has very pure and rich flavors of black raspberry, blueberry and crème de cassis, notes of milk chocolate, and a definite chewy character to the tannins. Stock up on this limited production wine to pair with grilled lamb chops, which are a popular item in Spain.