Alvar de Dios Hernandez - Tio Uco, Toro, Spain (2021)
Juicy, velvety and round, open and fruit-driven, tasty and with very fine tannins, which make it very easy to drink. An instant pleasure.
The 2020 Tío Uco is a young red produced with purchased grapes in the Toro appellation where the soils are mostly sand and sandstone based at an average of 750 meters above sea level.
It is approximately 90% Tempranillo and 10% Grenache. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in used 3,500-, 1,200- and 1,000-liter oak foudres for five months.
Alvar de Dios is a devoted artisanal winemaker based in the Toro D.O., a Spanish wine region that was traditionally known for leathery and overly robust wines, not unlike the over-the-top looks from the 80's! Born into a family of winemakers in the village of El Pego, Alvar decided to venture outside of his hometown to learn and perfect his craft.
Alvar is flipping the script on the typically gaudy flavour profile of Toro wines, instead using organic and biodynamic viticulture to create ultra-fresh, nuanced and ethereal creations. The young Spaniard was hired as the cellar master for Fernando Garcia (of Comando G) at Bodegas Marañones 10 years ago in the Sierra de Gredos region.
As he worked for Fernando, he split his time between Toro and the Gredos mountains. Purchasing his first vineyards in his native DO, the terroir of the Arribes DO quickly caught Alvar’s attention. In Arribes he found a terroir reminiscent of that of Gredos – high altitude soils infused with granitic sand and mica, as well as a wide range of highly expressive indigenous grapes.
Alvar’s wines have tremendous freshness, partly because of the altitude at which the vines grow, but also due to his winemaking style, heavily influenced by his work with Comando G.