Dominio de Atauta can be found in the east of the Ribera del Duero appellation overlooking the Atauta Valley, 50km from the source of the River Duero in Soria. The valley has five centuries of winemaking tradition focused on the Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) grape. At 975 metres altitude this is the highest and coolest part of the region, at the extremes of vine cultivation. Atauta produces some of the most individual, complex and expressive wines in Ribera.
Within this small valley winemaker Jaime Suarez Pardo (his 1st vintage here was 2015) and viticulturalist Ismael Sanz control over 500 separate plots across 45 hectares. They have identified 25 different terroirs – they harvest by terroir and vinify each separately for maximum expression.
Rainfall is low and wind travels along the valley from the west, keeping humidity levels low and controlling disease. This allows the team to farm sustainably, using only organic products – animal and plant compost. The nature of the small plots means that all work, including harvesting, has to be carried out manually. The vines are very old (over 85 years) including some that were planted pre-phylloxera (120-140 years ago) and, as such, yields are naturally low.
There is minimal intervention in the cellar. Fermentation is by natural yeasts, and they do not cold stabilise their wines. The 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) grapes are sourced from the Dominio de Atauta estate, which sits at 975m altitude. This is approaching the furthest extreme at which grapes can ripen, so here they experience a harsh climate, which reduces yields and concentrates character. The wine is aged for 12 months in French oak.
The Parada de Atauta has a warm, spicy, open nose with intense black fruit, juicy black cherries, mocha and baked earth characters. The palate has fine-grained tannins giving structure, concentrated blackcurrant fruit, cedar and minerality with perfumed violets to the finish. Elegant and complex.