2016 Rioja Sierra de Toloño
Sandra has been busy this year and we are delighted she has brought out this new wine from a fantastic new (to her) vineyard of old vine Tempranilllo. Sandra tells us that in Raposo she is able to bottle exactly "what the Village of Villabuena de Alava represents for me." From beautiful vineyards perched at 500 meters altitude with warmer weather and different soils, comes this stunning expression of Tempranillo. Here there is less clay and more alluvial soil. The results are totally Sandra - yet with a lovely, different feel to her other wines. Black and ripe, well-defined fruit is punctuated with lovely aromas of dried red flowers. This is aged for one year in big old barrels (3000 litres), which preserves the freshness of the nicely weighted, ripe fruit. So softly textured and beautifully detailed with gorgeously fine tannins. and vibrant mineral vein, salty and almost ferrous on the end - but this just underpins the whole so well. L&S (May 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Plenty of spicy saffron and clove aromas hover over ripe red plums and mulberries. The palate has nice fruit-focus and depth with good tannin-weight and detail. Rating: 93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Aug 2018)
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.
Rioja is at the heart of a 'new wave' of Spanish winemaking. There are some really exciting producers crafting wines that are fresh, pure and fruit-focused - a world away from the dusty, over-oaked Rioja of old. We are proud to represent a few of the most gifted young winemakers in this new wave. Here are three examples that will make for a delicious, heart-warming Christmas.
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