Valpiculata

Founded by Juan Pablo Peñalba – elder brother of Ricardo (see Finca Torremilanos) – in 1999 in partnership with Victor Garretas, whose family have been growing vines in Toro for some 200 years; and their small estate consists of some 15 hectares in and around Venialbo in the south west of Zamora Province.

Phylloxera never took hold here, for the soils – strewn with numerous boulders - are sandy, dry and barren. Yields are low, with an average yield of about 1.5 kilos per plant; the vines ungrafted and varying in age between 40 and 100. The climate is harsh and with extreme differences of temperature - 40°C on summer days but with cold, frosty winters and minimal rainfall, most of which comes in the Spring. The duo do not irrigate their vines and so only 70% of their new plantings survive.

The grapes are hand-picked at dawn; and fermentation is effected in small concrete tanks, plot by plot, relying purely on the fruit’s natural, wild yeasts. The oak ageing process is undertaken in new and semi-new Tronçais and Allier barricas that are made on site.

Puertas Novas is dark and snappy, but relatively easy going with substance but attractively forward red and black plum fruit and relatively unassuming oak.