Manuel Cantalapiedra "Arenisca" 2017

  • Manuel Cantalapiedra is changing everything we think of when it comes to Rueda, and in this case, Toro. A classic story of 3rd-generation grape growers-turned-winemakers. Here we have a 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) from the Paraje Los Panaderos vineyard in neighboring Benialbo (within D.O. Toro), which is among the highest elevation sites in the appellation. You won’t find the appellation on the bottle as he prefers to identify as Castilla y Leon. Grapes were hand-harvested, wild yeast fermented with 40% stem inclusion in open vats with 30 days of maceration, then raised for 11 months in used French oak barrels. The finished wine is bottled unfiltered, and just a touch of sulfur is added at bottling. That classic beautiful aroma and spice profile of wines from the region, with way less extraction and “heft” than others. Smooth tannins, dark berries, on the fuller-side of medium bodied. Killer with some morcilla, chorizo, or smoked bacon wrapped burgers.