2017 Tempranillo Sierra de Toloño
Sourced from the same vineyard in Villabuena de Álava as her Naikun white, this old-vine Tempranillo is another impressive release from this talented young winemaker. Violet scented, with intensity from low yields, subtle oak and a backbone of tannin and acidity. Needs time. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Mar 2020)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Five micro vineyards.
SOIL Limestone with strong mineral character.
VINEYARDS Same five small vineyards as in the white NAHIKUN. All of them are over 80 years old, in Villabuena de Álava (500 meters altitude). Organic micro vineyards. Very low yield, less than 500 g per plant.
BLENDING Field blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha.
WINEMAKING AND AGING Fermented spontaneously and aged during one year in barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. 700 bottles produced. TASTING NOTES NAHIKUN means big desire in Euskera (Basque language). My desire of recovering those vineyards and the rare varieties of Rioja. The real taste of original Tempranillo. Violet scented, with intensity from low yields, subtle oak and a backbone of tannin and acidity. A wine to age for long time in bottle. Winemaker's notes (Apr 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.
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