2017 Sierra de Toloño

Grapes Garnacha
Colour Red
Origin Spain, Rioja
District Rioja Alavesa
ABV 14.5%

A varietal Garnacha from Riva de Tereso, the 2017 La Dula comes from a small 80-year-old plot planted in 1944, so production is extremely low. It's bottled unoaked and matured in amphorae to see what the pure grape delivers. It's fruit-driven and shows some ripeness from a warm and dry year. This tends to have very high acidity, so the grapes are picked late to achieve good ripeness. It fermented in tinaja (amphorae), where it's kept for a few months and then is bottled early. There are perfumed notes, and something herbal/wild that I like. The palate reveals fine-grained tannins and clean flavors. Only 670 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2018. Drinking range: 2019 - 2022 Rating: 92 Luis Gutierrez, (Jun 2019)

Alternatively, we may well have some bottles in one of our shops - why not give us a call on 0207 244 0522 or send an email to:

Or, check the RELATED PRODUCTS below for different vintages or wines of a similar style.

It's very rare to find Garnacha grown on the upper slopes of the Sierra Cantabria, given how cold it can be in a zone that can be "bestial", according to Sandra Bravo. But this 76-year-old vineyard, picked at the end of October, has delivered a wine with appealing focus and zip, embellished by crunchy red fruits and garrigue spice. Drinking range: 2020 - 2026 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, (Feb 2019)

Sierra de Toloño

Sandra Bravo is a seriously exciting winemaker. Working with some of the highest altitude vineyards in Rioja – with plots of very old vines, she is hunting out freshness and purity. Having travelled the world and made wines in Bordeaux, Tuscany, New Zealand and California she has returned to Spain with her eyes wide open and a brave ambition to show the different expressions of Rioja. It does not all have to be blended and heavily-oaked any more. Her delicately shaped – intensely pure wines are a revelation. With a range now of different releases each profiling a particular vineyard or a particular grape variety she is making some of the most drinkable and delicious wines in the region. No surprises she was crowned the 2019 ‘Young Winemaker of the Year’ by Rioja expert and wine critic Tim Atkin MW.

Sandra originally comes from Rioja, and returned there to start this project. 2012 was the first vintage. Sandra has trained in Bordeaux, Chianti, Marlborough, California, and worked in two of the larger wineries in Priorat, where she was influenced by Ricard Rofes, (now in charge of Scala Dei). 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 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 neutral French oak barrels, and bottled without fining of filtration. From the 2013 vintage Sandra has also been working with amphorae, distancing herself even further from the oaky traditions of Rioja.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
  • For full delivery details see our Delivery page.
  • We offer free nationwide* delivery for all orders over £150 with our own vans. We also offer an express delivery service for an additional charge.
  • Order & Collect from any of our 5 London shops. Order by Midnight for collection the next working day from 11am.
  • Private wine storage: we offer a full In Bond and Duty Paid private wine storage service - find out more here.