Oxer Bastegieta Kuusu Tinta de Toro | 2021


Ok, technically, this is not a Toro. Oxer Bastegieta is a cutting-edge, rising star winemaker based in Rioja Alavesa. He bottles his eye-catching Kuusu label under the “Vino de España” appellation, because it comes from a vineyard just outside of Toro’s limits, within the greater Castilla y León region. Planted in 1920, these centenary vines are mostly Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) and the rare white, Albillo Mayor which thrive in sandy-quartz soils at a refreshing elevation of 600 meters. The grapes are transported to Oxer’s winery in Rioja, where he uses a minimalist approach in the cellar to squeeze out every drop of terroir in the wine. The result is brilliant.

At 14% alcohol, Kuusu is far from the stereotypical chunky or oaky Toro. The palate is lithe with liquid cherries, dark violets, and sweet exotic chili. The oak treatment is tough to detect, its soft cedar spice lingers in the background. With less than 1,000 bottles produced for the world, experience something truly limited (and over-the-top delicious) with Kuusu Toro or rather, Wine of Spain. ~Allegra A

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