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Bodegas Vetus was created in 2003 with the purchase of a 20 hectare property by the Anton family, proprietors of Finca Villacreces in Ribera del Duero and Izadi in Rioja Alavesa. The vineyard is planted with 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo), in a poor soil which produces low yields of concentrated grapes. The hot and dry climate of Toro produces unmistakably big wines that many producers try to tame them with plenty of new oak. The harder path, and the one Vetus has taken, is to restrain the natural rusticity of the terroir and to promote balance and elegance in the finished wines. To achieve this they are careful to harvest grapes that are not over ripe, prevent excessive extraction during winemaking and employing a greater proportion of second and third-fill barrels for the aging of their wines.
Spain's remote, high elevation 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.