Limpid straw-yellow. Fresh citrus and orchard fruits, jasmine and succulent herbs on the fragrant, mineral-accented nose. Silky and focused on the palate, offering vibrant pear and Meyer lemon flavors that are complemented by suggestions of honeysuckle and tarragon. Finishes very long and mineral, with repeating floral notes and a refreshingly bitter touch of pear skin. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025 Rating: 91 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Feb 2019)
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Sandra Bravo gets her old-vine Viura from an extreme site at 700 metres in Rivas de Tereso, tucked under the Sierra Cantabria. Made without oak, but showing lots of lees contact, this is creamy and crunchy with white pepper and jasmine aromas and a racy, refreshing finish. Drinking range: 2019 - 2022 Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Feb 2019)
Straightforward dried lemon and melon with some tropical nuances. The palate has a concentrated thread of flavor and finishes crisp, fresh and light. Drink now. Rating: 93 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(Aug 2018)
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, heavily-oaked, creamy and rich 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 has been crowned the 2019 ‘Young Winemaker of the Year’ by Rioja expert, the 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 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.
News 07/02/19 : Great to see Sandra Bravo getting the credit that she deserves from Tim Atkin, who has awarded her his young winemaker of the year - a great friend and brilliant winemaker, brava!
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