Triton – Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo); Toro, Spain; 2018 

 September 1, 2023

By  rackhouse

Spain’s remote, high-elevation Spanish wine zone between the regions of Bierzo and Ribera del Duero produces intense, full-bodied reds made from Tempranillo, locally called Tinta de Toro. This local variant has adapted to the region’s climatic extremes and recognizing its potential, top producers from Ribera del Duero and Rioja have invested heavily in its vineyards.

There is a total of five vineyards in the towns of Morales de Toro, Pedrosa del Rey, and Villaester with the vines being planted as far back as 1900 and at other various times until 1958. Sandy loam of sedimentary origins dates back to the end of the Cretaceous period. These are the oldest soils in the Spanish Duero River Valley. Many of the soils have an important component of iron. Six to ten feet below the surface, there is almost a foot-thick layer of red clay. Due to these sandy soils, Toro was the only continental Spanish DO to completely resist phylloxera. Bodegas Ordóñez exclusively works with ungrafted vineyards, as a result.

Sorting is followed by destemming without crushing. The whole berries are transferred to 5,000L open-top stainless steel and polymer vats. Fermentation is started with a pied de cuve. Think sourdough starter for wine. Maceration lasts between six and eight days. The wine is pressed in a vertical basket & pneumatic press for eight to twelve hours and is transferred immediately to second through fourth-use barriques. The wine rests in these barriques for 12 months.

Triton is made with the Tinta de Toro grape, one of Spain’s oldest Tempranillo clones that is native to the Toro wine region. The continental steppe climate combines with the sandy soil to create a terroir that is responsible for a powerful, elegant, and mineral expression of Tinta de Toro. As in all of Grupo Jorge Ordóñez’s vineyards, the plots are head-trained and dry-farmed, without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides.

The wine offers a deeper ruby color as well as classic Tempranillo notes of ripe red and black fruits, peppery herbs, spicy wood, and hints of sandalwood. On the palate it’s ripe, medium to full-bodied, has a juicy, fruit-forward style, and a medium finish.

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