La Tierra de Castilla Tinto – Colección
100% Tempranillo. The grapes come from a single vineyard of 6 ha named la Lastra – in Latin, “flat stone”, that the Romans used to pave the roads. The soil composition is alluvial, a combination of clay, silt, sand and gravel that forms over time, from mineral deposits left by running water. These soils act as thermo-regulator, retaining the heat, the water, and providing a more mineral character to the wine. The gobelet-trained vines average 22 year old.
The grapes are hand-harvested at night early September, in small boxes. They are sorted, destemmed, and crushed to obtain maximum extraction. Cold pre-maceration during 2 days, and fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks for 25 days. Delestage during the initial phase of the fermentation. The wine is then aged for 9 months in French and American 225 liter oak barrels (5% new oak, one and 2 year old barrels for the remaining). Predominant red fruit aromas, with notes of violet, and a hint of pepper and spices. 14% alcohol. 1250 cases produced.
About the Producer
Valentin Pinuaga Salazar founded this small estate back in the 1960’s. Today the winery is run by Valentin and Esther Pinuaga - second and third generation of this family of traditional winemakers.
The winery and its 90 hectares of vineyards are located in Corral de Almaguer, Toledo, a privileged site situated 800 meters above sea level and surrounded by Mediterranean oak forests. The continental climate, with pronounced changes in day-to-evening temperatures, boosts the unique personality of the land and enhances the quality of the vines. It favors the growth of autochthonous grape varieties, allowing the production of varietally-expressive wines. Tempranillo and Merlot, amongst others, are planted on parcels that differ in age, soil, altitude and orientation. Each parcel is vinified separately.
The Tempranillo vines are bush trained, a technique frequently used in central Spain for non-irrigated vineyards. A bush vine is made-up of 4 to 6 arms, growing directly from the soil and reaching up to 3.2 feet high. The well-ventilated bunches keep powdery mildew at bay. The soil is mainly clay-limestone. The grapes are all hand harvested (starting at 4am because of the heat), at very low yields of 2,500 kg/ha, and in small cases of 10kg. Choosing the right picking time is crucial. The vineyards are sampled up to three times per week. Detailed observations, such as the health of the vineyards, the physical condition of the seeds and skins, the ripeness of the berries and pips, together with lab analyses, enable to pick at optimum ripeness. Total production is around 100,000 bottles.
Farming/vinification practices: Certified Organic since 2010. Wild grass usually grows freely from the month of October until April and the vineyard borders are maintained with indigenous flora to enable beneficial insects to complete their life cycle. Fertilizing is kept down to a minimum, and only comes in the form of manure. Fungal sprays are essentially in the form of sulphur, and the treatment is done vine per vine.
the Cellar Door Issue 37 October 2020 - January 2021