Matarredonda Tempranillo Toro Libranza 2003
Bodegas Matarredonda is a relatively new wine maker with the wisdom of a producer that’s been around for as long as their centenary vines have. Their traditional philosophy in grape cultivation couples well with cutting edge technology in the grape selection and wine making process. The culmination of this philosophy is their flagship wine Libranza. A wine quite able to please, even the most demanding of palates. Made with 100 year plus Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) vines, that were thankfully, spared by phylloxera in the 19th century. A small 4,000 (only 1,500 for the US) case, deep ruby/purple-colored cuvee, offering a raspberry, black cherry, cassis, licorice, and smoky oak-scented bouquet. The best barrels at the estate are selected to give Libranza a rich berry fruit and floral-spicy complexity matched to a structure of impressive scale and concentration. Good sweetness provides a fleshy fatness to accompany the wine’s purity and ripe tannin. The vines provide a full-bodied, deep magenta grape with a character all its own, intense as the summer sun and bursting with all the richness of its over one hundred year old vineyard. In the wine making process, technique is fundamental for ensuring wine quality. In this case, by giving the natural wine making process the time it needs flourish. Fourteen months in Bordeaux-type barrels made of French Allier oak and an additional year of bottle ageing to produce this gem of a wine. Libranza is an elegant wine that keeps its violet tone and naturally blends the fruitiness one expects from the Tinta de Toro grape with nuances of oak. The grapes undergo an exhaustive selection in the vineyard and then again in the winery. This selection forms the basis of their method, where all the natural variables involved in fermentation, right down to the last detail are checked, so that the wine will take on the fine qualities that aging brings out all on its own, without the need for extra clarifying or filtering. The Toro district of the Spanish province of Zamora, climate, soil, and the Duero river caress these centuries-old vineyards in the Salgadero, Matarredonda and Matalobas estates. This IS the cradle of the "Tinta de Toro" grape, the finest of raw materials for making a truly great wine. Decanting this wine is highly recommended.
The wine itself is a beautiful deep indigo, almost an inky color at the center transitioning to garnet along the edges. The nose is classic Tempranillo, with lovely ripe fruit notes, blueberry, black cherry and cassis, overlaid with some lovely notes of leather, oak, dried herbs and floral notes. The taste is very interesting, with some muted fruit notes at the outset, accented by some dried flowers which rather smoothly transitions to some exotic spice notes and dusty limestone midpalate. The finish is quite nice, with flavors of dark chocolate and cherry cola over the nicely structured tannins that provide for a long, exceptionally dry finish. What a lovely example of the wines Spain has to offer! See the full review on my blog here: http://allaloneonaplanetfullofpeople.blogspot.com/2013/08/2003-bodega-matarredonda-libranza-toro.html