Alonso del Yerro was established 2002 by the husband and wife team of Javier Alonso and Maria del Yerro, when they purchased Finca Santa Marta, a lovely estate situated in the section of Northern Ribera del Duero made famous by neighbours Peter Sisseck of Pingus and Mariano Garcia of Bodegas Aalto.
The family expanded to the rugged and remote region of Toro in 2007, purchasing the 8.8 hectare Pagos de Miguel vineyard. Here they produce Paydos, an astonishing expression of traditionally-farmed old vine Tinta de Toro.
From the beginning the Alonso del Yerro team has included renowned Bordeaux consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt and his collaborator, oenologist Lionel Gourgue, who has established a high reputation working at Chateaux Carbonnieux and Figeac and in New Zealand, California, and Argentina.
The stated aim of the Alonso del Yerro family - "to make great quality wines in accordance with the principles in which we strongly believe - respect towards the environment, value of friendship, love for our family, and passion for excellence" - could not be more closely aligned with Trialto's commitment to 'Wines of People, Place, and Time'.
In Ribera del Duero the vineyards are high-altitude plots of red clay and gravelly sand, both overlying calcareous stone. All agricultural work is done by hand; no synthetic chemicals of any kind are used; the only 'intervention' is the application of compost from the estate itself. Every effort is made to manage the total environment of the plant taking into consideration the soil, microclimate, and ecosystem. As a result the wines are a splendid expression of their terroir.
In Toro the Pagos de Miguel is situated at an elevation of 720 metres. Rainfall is low (just 400mm per year). The climate is extreme, with massive diurnal and seasonal swings in temperature; the ungrafted bush vines (some over 80 years old) struggle to survive without irrigation in the scrabbly clay-lime and granite soil. Although locals still vehemently argue otherwise, DNA profiling has proven that Tinta de Toro is in fact tempranillo. Regardless, the harsh growing conditions in Toro result in an utterly unique wine, "as black as night" as they love to say in Toro, yet floral and spicy and blessed with elegant tannins.