Tempranillo, Sierra de Toloño
2019 was a pretty warm vintage in Rioja, but such is the altitude of Sandra Bravo's marginal site in the Sierra de Toloño that she picked this varietal Tempranillo in the first week of November. Spicy, fresh and unfiltered, this is a very impressive entry point red with minimal oak, tangy pomegranate and red berry fruit and wonderful perfume.
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.