- 1005 Tinto de Toro
Vega Sicilia set themselves an ambitious challenge when they started purchasing vineyards in Toro in 1997. This region was well-known for wines of great character, but little finesse. For 4 years they perfected their style in secret, before finally releasing the 2001 under the name Pintia.
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.