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Juan Carlos Vizcarra is a man of intensity, passion, and incredible ambition. Though his family has grown grapes in northern DO Ribera del Duero for more than four generations, he was the first to make estate-bottled wine from this fruit starting in 1991. The story goes that when he was a boy, he noticed that the historic estates of Vega Sicilia and Pesquera would come to his family in bad vintages to buy fruit. Realizing that his family must have truly special vineyards of the highest quality, Juan Carlos took it upon himself to begin producing wines to express this blessed terroir and heritage. Like all the wines at the tiny Bodegas Vizcarra, Torralvo is made using gravity-fed winemaking to preserve the freshness and elegance intrinsic to the limestone plots found in northern Burgos. Meticulous in everything he does, Juan Carlos applies his detail-oriented approach to every facet of the winemaking process. Torralvo is the only single vineyard wine that Juan Carlos makes, from one of the highest-altitude parcels on his estate. Planted in the early 1960s, Torralvo is a traditional head-pruned parcel of 100% Tempranillo, farmed organically. Fermented with indigenous yeasts, Torralvo offers a truly unique expression of place for Juan Carlos. In this bottling, he offers a wine to age, one that will improve with a decade or more in the bottle.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
A single vineyard bottling of less than 5000 bottles per year, Torralvo expresses the unique high-elevation terroir of this old-vine parcel. With gravity-fed winemaking, Torralvo possesses incredible finesse and balance to go along with its natural power.
2018 93+ WA; 2016 94 WA, 2015 95 'Editors’ Choice' WE, 93WA, 93VM; 2014 91WA; 2012 93VM; 2012 93WA
100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo). Vines planted from 1950 - 1995. Tended in clay, limestone and gravel soil from 820 - 840 m (2,690 - 2,755ft) elevation
The dark fruit and savory, herbal notes in Torralvo are a natural pair with grilled, braised and roasted red meats. For a classic Ribera pair, try it with grilled leg of lamb... but braised short ribs or a rib roast would all make beautiful companions for Torralvo.
VINIFICATION AND AGING:
18 Months in French Oak Barrels
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
Vineyards are located in the town of Mambrilla, at 849 meters (2,785 ft.) elevation. This town is in the northern central area of the Ribera del Duero DO (Zone 2), within Burgos province in Castilla y León. For soils, out of the eleven parcels farmed to make Vizcarra Torralvo, there is predominantly sand, clay, limestone and gravel. Juan Carlos reduces yields by thinning grape clusters from 20 to 8 per vine, and by allowing other foliage to flourish around the vines to absorb the potentially excessive water and nutrients from the soil. Reducing the vine's yield and vigor maximizes the intensity and concentration in the grapes. The area's climate has an average temperature from April-October of 60'F and the average annual rainfall is 18 inches. From its higher altitude, Ribera del Duero's northern central area within Burgos has a cooler climate than either Toro or Rueda, to the west and southwest, respectively. Here, the wines are usually darker, more concentrated and have more forward aromas than wines made in the western part of Ribera del Duero. An extreme Continental climate, with cool nights and hot days with moderately low rainfall, provides a longer ripening period, and results in wines with greater complexity and more expressive, intense aromas.
Lurid ruby. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of ripe red berries, lavender and Asian spices on the intensely perfumed nose. At once fleshy and light on its feet, offering juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that show excellent clarity and building sweetness. Turns spicier on the wonderfully persistent finish, which features supple tannins and lingering mineral and floral nuances. -- Josh Raynolds.