2014 Sierra de Toloño Rioja
Region: Rioja < Spain
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: biodynamic farming, clay-chalk soils, 650m altitude (highest vineyards in Rioja), fermented and aged in amphorae, 40ppm SO2 added, 900 cases made
Winemaker: Sandra Bravo Marin
In what is happily a recurring theme in the natural wine world, we bring you another young female vigneron whose family was not historically in the wine business but followed her passion to join the boys club and make wine. Sandra Bravo Marin traveled the world making wine, with well-respected names in France and California, then settled on her home country for her own project. Though she doesn’t own vineyards, Sandra does all the vineyard farming herself, biodynamically. This is rare in Rioja, as is her choice of fermentation/aging vessel (amphorae), when the norm here is overbearing American oak. All of this makes for a textbook example of how brilliant Tempranillo can be when you let it do its thing instead of manipulating the s*#t out of it. A bright and beautiful wine, juicy and medium-bodied with great structure. Crisp cranberry, sweet raspberry and wild cherries, and a mineral finish that recalls licking rocks, in the very best way.