Bodegas y Vinedos Pintia 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Toro is located further along the Duero river from Vega Sicilia, in hotter, wilder territory as one approaches the Portuguese border (after which, the Duero becomes the famous Douro of Port fame). Altitudes are slightly lower than in the Ribera del Duero, making for very hot days, but 500-700m altitudes stil mean big day-night temperature changes, so acidity and fruit are preserved.
The grape here is 100% Tinta de Toro, a thick-skinned local clone of Tempranillo. The Vega team carefully vinify the wine to extract only the finest tannins and maintain aromatic purity, and age one year in the highest quality French and American oak barrels. Pintia displays the style and class (elegance, even !) of a Vega Sicilia Group wine, but with the extra spicy, forceful presence of a Toro. Early critical reaction has been ecstatic, and pricing remains eminently reasonable for a wine of this quality.
Spain's remote, high elevation Spanish wine zone between the regions of Bierzo and Ribera del Duero produces intense, full-bodied reds made from Tempranillo, locally called Tinta de Toro. This local variant has adapted to the region’s climatic extremes and recognizing its potential, top producers from Ribera del Duero and Rioja have invested heavily in its vineyards.
Notoriously food-friendly, long-lasting and Spain’s most widely planted grape, Tempranillo is the star variety of red wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Rioja terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate both barrel and bottle time before release. Traditionally blended in Rioja with Garnacha, plus a bit of Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, the Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero typically stands alone. Somm Secret—Tempranillo claims many different names depending on location. In Penedès, it is called Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Known as Tinta Roriz in Portugal, Tempranillo plays an important role in Port wine.