Vatan Arena comes from a single vineyard of ungrafted Tinta de Toro vines planted in 1900 called Finca Los Quemados. The grapes for Vatan Arena are selected from 1.83Ha. in the center of the vineyard, where there is a higher proportion of rounded river stones in the sand and the vines respond by producing intense grapes with a deep sense of minerality. This vineyard, located near the miniscule village of Vallaester de Abajo, is planted in extremely poor sandy soils with a thin eight-inch layer of red clay ten feet below the surface, crucial for water retention. This vineyard site has a particularly long vegetative cycle due to the growing characteristics of the original Tinta de Toro clones and the altitude of 2,400ft. This altitude is responsible for phenomenal temperature swings between day and night. 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. The vineyard is dry farmed, without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides.
Vatan Arena Tinta de Toro 2014 smells of baked berry, prune and wood grain. Lush and chunky on the palate, with mild acidity and bulky tannins, this tastes mostly of toasty, blackened oak, cassis and blackberry. A choppy but long finish tastes chocolaty and rich. At 15.5%, this is extracted, with fleeting balance.