Rayuelo is an exceptional red wine made from old Bobal vines planted between 70 and 100 years ago and grown at about 1,100 meters above sea level in the Denominación de Origen Manchuela. That makes them some of the highest vineyards in Spain.
And that altitude gives this wine two significant benefits.
On the one hand, high up on the plateau, the vineyards are kept healthy and in tip-top condition thanks to the cooling winds that aerate the vines. This eliminates the need for chemical pesticides which means that Rayuelo, like all wines from Altolandon, is certified organic.
But altitude also means significant variation between day and night-time temperatures. That’s good for grapes because it lets the fruit ripen steadily and allows flavours and complex aromas to develop naturally, whilst at the same time locking in acidity which is important as we’ll see shortly.
In addition to Rayuelo being an organic wine (as well as being vegan-friendly), the Altolandon team also keep intervention in the winery to a minimum and neither fine nor filter the wine (steps at the end of the winemaking process to leave the wine clear and transparent). This means the wine is slightly more opaque than usual, but that’s perfectly normal. And with its rich, deep purple colour and crimson rim, you’re left in no doubt that this is a wine of substance.
When it comes to aromas, Rayuelo is brimming with wonderful Mediterranean scents like pine needles, herbs, and even some menthol. You’ll also get a touch of cedar and vanilla from the wine’s 8 months ageing in wooden barrels – used, French oak barrels to be precise.
Then there’s the fruit - on the nose it’s fairly restrained, shrouded by those wonderful Mediterranean aromas. But in the mouth the flavours really come to the fore, enlivening the palate with bursts of red fruits, mature plum, and blackcurrant.
And here’s where that important acidity comes in. Because it acts as a gentle balance to all that fruit, giving the wine a delicacy that sets it apart from the average Mediterranean reds.
Wrap all that up with a lovely medium to long finish and you have a delicious red wine that is both elegant and refined yet true to its rural origins. A wine that will linger long in the memory.