Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
An Eric Solomon Selection
100% tinta de toro (tempranillo)
Opened 29 Jan 2018
Wine Advocate: 92
Guia Penin: 91
Cellar Tracker: 88
The Spanish Northern Plateau Toro Region is 40-50 miles east of the Portuguese border and 125-150 miles south of the Northern Spanish-Atlantic Ocean coast. Wine has been produced in the Toro region for more than 2000 years ever since the Greeks taught the Celts the art of the vine and grape. During the Middle Ages, Catholic religious orders obtained land in the region from the king under the expressed agreement that they would expand the vineyards. In the 1800s the area’s vineyards escaped the phylloxera crisis resulting, today, in some very old vines.
The Artevino company, under the tutelage of Gonzalo Anton, began its wine making endeavors in Rioja Alavesa, one of the 3 sub-regions of the La Rioja DOC, in 1987, focusing on the hospitality industry with their IZADI labeled wines. In 2000, Gonzalo’s son began to expand the winery’s footprint and soon established, in the Toro Region, Bodegas Vetus in 2003. He initially concentrated on developing their vineyards until they were assured of success before building their winery there, which they eventually opened in 2008.
The 50 acres of 25 year-old vines of the Vetus vineyards surround the winery, and are located less than 10 miles to the south, southwest of the city, Toro, and about 2/3 of a mile west of the Guarena River, a north flowing tributary of the Douro River. They are at an altitude of approximately 2300′ above sea level, growing in a loose conglomeratic soil, which consists of a dark sandy matrix, some clay, and limestone pebbles; locally known as a puddingstone. The area experiences a continental climate with growing season temperatures ranging from daytime highs in the mid-80°s to night time lows in the high 50°s F. Growing season rains range from 0.75 to 2.25″ per month.
The grapes are hand harvested, de-stemmed, partially crushed, and fermented in stainless steel vats. They are aged for 9 months in half new, half second year, half American and half French, oak barrels with the resulting wine falling into the Spanish Crianza aging label category: aged for 2 years with at least 6 months in oak.
The wine exhibits a dark ruby-red to purple hue with a thin garnet rim. A glorious nose of fresh berries and cherries coupled with a rich, thick taste of berries and chewy tannins. Very balanced acidity and tannins with a very nice finish.
An outstanding wine at a good price. Serve with lamb and Spanish rice. Drink now, but should last until 2020. Decant and aerate for one hour before drinking.