This is winemaker Sandra Bravo's third vintage here in the highest ground of Rioja, after stints in Bordeaux, Chianti, Marlborough, California and now Priorat. As before her signature delicate touch is in evidence and the quality of this pure fruit from very high vineyards is clear. Perky, lovely red Tempranillo fruit with a bit of bite – Very lively but with ample fruit weight – just a more slender profile than many in the region – delicious. L&S (Jun 2016)
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Old rented lots around Labastida at 700 m. Spends a few months in used barrels. Bright crimson. Very opulent and palate-filling. Real winemaking talent at work here! Great energy with the fruit fully exposed. Lovely stuff! Real genius! VGV Drinking range: 2017 - 2021 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Oct 2017)
“Un vivo vino” (a living wine) is how Sandra Bravo describes this spicy, textured, partially whole bunch fermented Tempranillo from high altitude vines in Rivas de Tereso. Textured, youthful and subtly oaked, with fine tannins and a fresh finish. 2017-22 Drinking range: 2017 - 2022 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Jan 2017)
While tasting some of the most daring wines from Swartland in South Africa at the excellent and highly recommended wine shop La Tintorería in Madrid I bumped into–a new Rioja producer! Her name is Sandra Bravo, a Riojan-born that has started a new project in the small village of Rivas de Tereso in the vicinity of Labastida, in her homeland after stints in Priorat (Alfredo Arribas, Celler del Masroig) and New Zealand. I had been asking around for new projects in Rioja, and somehow nobody mentioned her. She started in 2012 and has one white and one red, with one more amphorae-fermented red from the 2014 vintage following soon. Around 25,000 bottles of accessible, easy drinking Rioja at attractive prices. Rating: 90 Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com (Apr 2016)
Sierra de Toloño
Sandra Bravo comes from Rioja, and has returned there to start this project. 2012 was the first vintage. Sandra has trained in Bordeaux, Chianti, Marlborough, California, and is still currently winemaker for one othe bigger producers in Priorat. She has returned home to make a Rioja which reflects the land and climate of this particular corner of Rioja Alavesa. The wine comes from old goblet trained Tempranillo vines grown on calcareous clay are at 650m in Labastida - one of the highest vineyards of the Rioja region. The mountains of the Sierra de Toloño protect the vines from northerly winds and create a special microclimate, cold because it is so high, but dry with the Mediterranean influence despite being so far north. All this is perfect for the grapes to ripen fully over a long time in the bright light but relatively cool temperatures - the ripeness comes slowly, retaining natural acidity. The grapes are harvested into 15kg boxes, sorted at the vine, and taken to the winery in Laguardia. Here Sandra does a very conservative vinification, with a cold soak to start with to preserve the freshness of the fruit, and then only a gentle pigeage. After the vinification the wine is aged just six months in French oak barrels, and bottled without fineing of filtration. For the 2013 Sandra is delighted to have some amphorae, and will make a wine with no oak at all, aged just in these.
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