Valsotillo Finca Buenavista
Valsotillo Finca Buenavista
A modern and elegant red wine from Ribera del Duero.
- Producer: Bodegas Ismael Arroyo
- Region: DO Ribera del Duero
- Vintage: 2017
- ABV: 14.5%
- Grape: Tinta del País (Tempranillo)
Intense cherry red with a violet rim, Finca Buenavista is packed with red fruit and forest-floor aromas, and a smooth lick of toasted oak that adds spice and liquorice notes. The rich and tasty palate has plenty of fruit and good balance, resulting in a modern and elegant red wine from Ribera del Duero.
Beef, Lamb, Game
More about Valsotillo Finca Buenavista
Who makes it
Bodegas Ismael Arroyo is a family winery based in Sotillo de la Ribera, a small village in the middle of the DO. After many generations growing grapes and making wine for their own consumption, Ismael Arroyo founded the winery in 1979 and began bottling and selling his wines. Bodegas Ismael Arroyo was one of the original seven wineries which promoted and founded Ribera del Duero as an official Denominación de Origen in 1982.
Ismael’s son, Ramón, continues the family tradition today, with the focus on top quality wines made from the Tinta del País (Tempranillo) grape planted in the family’s 25 hectares of vineyard. Old bush vines are a feature of Arroyo’s approach – most vines were planted at least 50 years ago, and some as long ago as 90 years ago. The vines are dry farmed, meaning there is no mechanical irrigation, and the altitude and exposure of the plots makes for healthy fruit with no need for any chemical pesticides.
About the grapes
Tempranillo - or Tinta del País or Tinta Fino as you’ll often see it referred to in Ribera del Duero - is Spain’s most widely planted grape. It is very adaptable grape, meaning it can work well in different geographies and climates. While it tends to offer good red fruit flavours it doesn’t have a particularly dominant flavour profile, which means lends itself well to the expression of different terroirs or winemakers’ technical decisions when making their wines, and it’s a great grape for barrel ageing. Style-wise, you’ll find everything in Ribera del Duero from young, juicy reds to more serious and weighty barrel-aged wines that will only get better with time in the cellar.
In Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo covers over 24,000 hectares which is almost all the vineyard area in the DO (all other permitted varieties, including Albillo Mayor, the DO’s most interesting white grape, cover less than 1,000 hectares). The fact that Tempranillo, as its name suggests, is an early ripening variety, means it is well-suited to the high altitude and extreme continental climate in Ribera which makes for quite a short growing season. The flip side of that is that preserving acidity can be a challenge, especially as climate change increases average temperatures during the growing season, which is why producers will often blend their Tempranillo grapes with other, later ripening varieties with better levels of natural acidity like Albillo Mayor, Cabernet Sauvignon or Garnacha.
Where it's made
The village of Sotillo de la Ribera sits in the middle of the DO just up the road from the villages of La Horra and Roa. This central stretch of Ribera is famous both for the age of its vineyards and the quality of its fruit. All the family’s vineyards are planted with Tinta del País on south-facing slopes with a blend of different soil types, principally clay, sand and pebbles.
Ribera del Duero is a high region, with vineyards planted at between 730 and just over 1,000 metres above sea level. The village of Sotillo de la Ribera is almost 900 metres above sea level, and that altitude is reflected in the extreme continental climate which makes for large differences in day and night-time temperatures during the growing season. That ¨thermal range¨ is ideal for growing grapes – hot daytime temperatures ensure the grapes ripen perfectly, while cold nights give the fruit time to rest and recharge ready for the following day.
How it's made
The grapes are harvested manually and brought to the winery where they go into stainless steel tanks and undergo alcoholic and malolactic fermentation with natural yeasts. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is racked off into 225-litre wooden barrels made of French and American oak where it ages for 6 months at a constant 12ºC in the winery’s 16th-century underground cellar.