2019 Rioja Sierra de Toloño

Grapes Tempranillo, Graciano
Colour Red
Origin Spain, Rioja
District Rioja Alavesa
ABV 13.5%

Old-vine Tempranillo and Graciano perched at 500 metres altitude. The vineyard is south facing, so sunny and bright, with a cooling Atlantic influence which keeps a freshness even in the hottest years. 'Raposo' is a name given to residents of Villabuena de Álava, the village this wine represents. 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 (Jun 2022)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

Raposo comes from two vineyards in Villabuena de Álava and is a classic field blend of Tempranillo with a little Graciano, Garnacha and white grapes. Sappy, tangy and focused, with crunchy black cherry and bramble fruit and a chalky undertone. Wonderfully energetic. Drinking range: 2023 - 2029 Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Feb 2022)

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.
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