Finca La Rana
Finca La Rana
Full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and a finish packed with flavour
- Producer: Hacienda Terra d’Uro
- DO: Toro
- Vintage: 2019
- ABV: 14.5%
- Grape: Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo)
Medium garnet red, the wine has a savoury nose laced with menthol, rosemary, thyme, mature dark fruit and cedar wood notes from spending 10 months in the barrel. Full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and a finish packed with flavour.
Lamb, Suckling Pig, Beef
More about Finca La Rana
Who makes it
Hacienda Terra d’Uro is the joint project of three men passionate about wine: Oscar Garrote; Christian Van Zeller, a world-renowned winemaker and one of the big names in the Douro winemaking region in Portugal; and Spanish winemaker and rugby fanatic, Javier “Pipa” Ortega.
Their Terra d’Uro project is centred around the Tinta de Toro vines planted in an historic terroir known as Pago Bardales at about 750 meters above sea level. The vines are planted in three separate plots: Finca la Rana, Finca el Romeral and La Coscojosa. Both Romeral and Coscojosa are planted with pre-phylloxera vines which were planted 144 years ago and 90 years ago respectively.
The winemaking trio take an organic approach, with most vineyard tasks like pruning or hoeing around the vines carried out manually, and minimal treatments with sulfur or powdered stinging nettle. Harvests are carried out manually using small, 10kg boxes to collect the fruit. On arrival at the bodega, the grapes are destemmed manually, and fermentation takes place in oak barrels. New oak barrels are used for aging which generally lasts between 8 to 14 months. To respect and preserve the natural qualities of the wines, no filtration or fining techniques are used. The end result are powerful but smooth red wines which showcase all the Tinta de Toro grapes have to offer but complemented with the perfect touch of wood.
Tinta de Toro is the local variant of Tempranillo and is the most widely planted grape in Denominación de Origen Toro. Tempranillo is a 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.
The fact that Tempranillo, as its name suggests, is an early ripening variety, means it is well-suited to the altitude and extreme continental climate in DOs like Toro which enjoys quite a short growing season.
Where it's made
Finca la Rana is made with grapes from vines planted 25 years ago in the Finca la Rana vineyard. In order to maintain the original clone, the rootstock in Finca la Rana comes from El Romeral, the estate’s emblematic vineyard planted more than 144 years ago with pre-phylloxera Tinta de Toro vines.
With 80% of its vineyards in the province of Zamora and 20% in Valladolid, Toro is ¨the other DO on the Duero¨, sandwiched in winemaking terms between the more famous Ribera del Duero to the east and the Douro just across the border in Portugal (imagine a line between Madrid and La Coruña and it’s halfway).
It’s another of Spain’s historical wine regions, with a winemaking history and culture which goes back to medieval times, but it was only made an official DO in the late 1980s. With a harsh landscape and climate, the Tinta de Toro vines grow at between 600-750 metres above sea level and were traditionally famous for producing big, powerful reds with generous levels of alcohol. But the region’s fame has increased in recent years as famous estates from Ribera del Duero, Rioja or even Bordeaux have bought vineyards here. Nowadays there are about 8,000 Ha of vines in Toro and some 63 bodegas making wines from young, Beaujolais Nouveau-style carbonic maceration wines which go on sale a few months after the harvest to more serious barrel-aged reds which combine beautifully with traditional Castilian dishes like suckling pig or lamb.
How it's made
Following a manual harvest and a careful selection of the fruit on arrival at the winery, the grapes undergo a light pressing to break the skins and liberate the juice. Fermentation takes place in 8,000-litre, open-topped oak vats or tinas. Once alcoholic and malolactic fermentation are complete, the wine is aged for at least 10 months in French oak barrels before bottling.