Vega Saúco Selección - Crianza Tinta de Toro / Tempranillo // Vega Sauco

Vega Saúco Selección - Crianza Tinta de Toro / Tempranillo (2010)

Toro, Spain

£77.40 case of 6 bottles

£9 UK delivery

92out of 100
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Light-bodied, delicate red fruit (strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant), leafy

Medium-bodied, red fruit, delicate tannin

Medium-bodied, plums, silky tannin (earthy)

Full-bodied, blackberry, elegant tannin, hint of oak

Full-bodied, blackcurrant, rich, punchy oak

The fruit is ripe and dark, but retaining its freshness, and the oak, with a lovely balance of savoury and sweet spice, shows off the freshness without smothering it.

Wines from Toro deserve to be better known in UK. Quality is excellent, and the style fits very well with the modern taste for rich fresh fruit and a restrained but definite backbone.

This is a sumptuously complex wine from a dedicated family producer who excel in producing high quality wines. The fruit is prominent and luscious. Think red and black fruits – plums and blackberries – ripe and full of sweet juice, colour and flavour. This depth of flavour comes from the grape variety – Tempranillo, from the long hot summer days, sometimes up to 40 degrees, and from the super-late harvesting, often well into October. The fruit is luscious but also, somehow, fresh. (Compare this with, say, a Merlot from a hot country, where the plum flavours can be jammy and flabby, a taste that soon palls.) How does the producer achieve this?

Vineyard:

Bodega VEGA SAÚCO is a family-owned winery that dates back to 1989. The family has been in the viticulture business for more than 35 years and mainly produces high quality Crianza and Reserva wines. The vineyards like the others in Toro are 725 metres above sea-level, and this results in very cool nights to balance the hot days. The cool nights chill the grapes and this protects the acid levels and freshness. Tempranillo without age or without oak would be a fierce mouthful – chewy and untamed tannins making the wine almost undrinkable.

This wine is over 5 years old. While age is no guarantee of quality in very many modern wines, in this case the wine has improved with every month that has passed, has reached peak condition and will stay there for some years to come. The rules for a Crianza wine in Spain require at least 14 months aging in oak, and at least 12 months aging in bottle. Above those limits, it is up to the producer to judge the right length of time and the right balance between oak and glass. Lastly, the flavour is influenced by the choice of oak used. French oak, usually judged to be the best, predominates here, and this brings savoury flavours, suggesting hints of spice, leather and tobacco. Judicious use of American oak introduces a layer of vanilla type spice, but only a touch. If you like a good Rioja, then you will love this. Only thing is, you may not go back to Rioja.


At a glance:

Wine name: Vega Saúco Selección (Crianza)
Colour: Red
Region: Toro
Country: Spain
Grape varietals: Tempranillo (local name: Tinta de Toro)
Vinification: Hand-harvested and sorted; 14 months in oak barrels; minimum 12 months maturation in bottle
Style: Luscious red fruit, with savoury and sweet oak notes
Vineyard name: Pago Valdecarretas, Ballesteros, La Pedrera
Producer name: Vega Sauco
Vintage: 2010
Price: (per 6 bottles): £77.40


The Vega Sauco Family:

The owner, Wenceslao Gil Durantez is one of the most dynamic and well-known wine-makers in Spain. Born in a small village in the northwest of Spain in 1955 he became an oenologist in the 70's. Ever since he has been known as "Wences".

He chose his professional career by chance. After he finished his football player career due to an injury, he decided to attend the School of the Winemaking in Madrid instead. He was one of the first students who graduated from the School as a vine and oenology specialist. As soon as he finished he started working in Burgos . In 1978 he moved to Toro.

Bodegas VEGA SAÚCO was founded in 1991 when after working in many wineries in all the North of Spain (in Ribera del Duero, Cigales or Rueda), he decided to buy vineyards in Toro and a small winery in Morales de Toro. The fact of being founder and president of the Castilla y Leon Oenologist Association between 1986 to 1996, underlines his knowledge of the wine sector in all the regions and in the whole Spanish territory. He fell in love with the Toro area, the land, the weather, its people and mainly with the grape variety "Tinta de Toro". 30 years of working in the area made him one of the greatest experts of his field, its performance and in the vinification and aging of it. Wences has been innovating in the area since the beginning and was the first to produce "Crianza" and "Reserva" wines.