The Spanish Wine Club is live! Our6 best finds for under $100 The Spanish Wine Club is live! Get our 6 best finds per shipment for under $100

Springboard Wines

Sierra de Tolono Tinto 2018

$20
  • Description
  • Tasting Notes
  • Winery
  • From Winemaker Sandra Bravo, crowned 2019 ‘Young Winemaker of the Year’ by Rioja expert, the wine critic Tim Atkin MW .

    This is a 100% Tempranillo from a high-altitude (600- 750m) vineyard. The grapes are 100% destemmed. Alcoholic fermentation is spontaneous and takes place in tanks; the wine then spends a year in neutral French oak (225-L). No fining or filtering.

    • Vintage: 2018
    • Appellation: D.O.Ca. Rioja 
    • Grapes: 100% Tempranillo
    • Aging period: 12 months in oak barrels
    • Oak: Neutral French oak barrels
  • Tim Atkin, 92 pts

    "2019 was a pretty warm vintage in Rioja, but such is the altitude of Sandra Bravo's marginal site in the Sierra de Tolono 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"

  • Sierra de Tolono

    In the foothills of the Sierra de Toloño, in Rioja Alavesa, Sandra Bravo works in some of the oldest, and highest altitude vineyards in Rioja, growing Garnacha, Tempranillo, Viura, and some Graciano. This young winemaker who worked in France, New Zealand, and Italy before coming back to her native land translates the mountainous landscape into pure and expressive wines.

    She has this small winery in Villabuena de Álava, where she works with steel, amphoras, and old wood. From that area she also works on various micro-plots, being able to harvest multiple varietals from micro-terroirs that together form a fresh, beautiful image of the area. 

    Recently, Sandra Bravo and her wines have been gaining a lot of traction within Rioja due to her "hands-of" approach and the freshness of the terroir. In 2019 Tim Atkins named her the "Best Young Wine Maker" in 2019 and raved about "her talent, energy and work ethic," which are embodied in her finished products. Sandra explains "I am trying to be invisible in the winery" emphasizing the freshness and authenticity of the grapes being used. 

    In her own words:

    “I was studying Engineering and Enology in Rioja and then I was working in wineries of Bordeaux, Tuscany, New Zealand, and California. When I came back to Spain I spent 7 years in Priorat. All that experience gave me an open point of view to make different wines here in Rioja (where I come from). I have to say Priorat really influenced me to make artisanal wines, and to understand that the most important is the vineyard, the vineyard with soul.
    When I came back to Rioja in 2012, I decided to make wines respecting what the vineyard gives and always looking for freshness. I was in love with this area in Rioja Alavesa, calcareous soil, small plots, Mediterranean herbs, and always North wind with high altitude (right in the mountain that gives my name’s project: Sierra de Toloño)… it was perfect! Because of all of this my wines are really mineral.
    The wines are fresh and not too oaky, I try to do minimal intervention in the cellar, then I can keep wines alive into the bottle. In Rivas de Tereso (650 m altitude) I have the vineyards of Sierra de Toloño (Red and White) and two top wines: La Dula, which is planted to Garnacha and Rivas de Tereso, planted to Tempranillo."