2011 Bodegas Teso La Monja "Almirez" Toro
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another great value is the 2011 Almirez, which comes from old, ungrafted, head-pruned Tinta de Toro vines. The vineyards are planted at 2,300 foot elevation, and the yields in 2011 were 18 hectoliters per hectare. The wine spent 12 months in 30% new French oak. A fabulous effort, it could easily pass for a big, rich Chateauneuf du Pape, even though there is not a touch of Grenache to be found in it. Its dense purple color is accompanied by notes of charcoal, barbecued meat, blackberries, cassis, licorice, camphor and spring flowers. Boasting massive concentration, a full-bodied mouthfeel and lavish extract, all concealing of its French oak aging, this rich, full 2011 possesses velvety tannins as well as a finish that lasts nearly 40 seconds. At this quality level, one would expect the price to be three digits or more. Enjoy it over the next 10 years. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(malo in new French oak, then aged for a year in French oak, one-third new): Deep ruby. Smoky cherry, black raspberry and mocha on the highly perfumed nose. Sweet, fresh and juicy, with very pure dark berry and floral pastille flavors that put on weight with air. Finishes smooth, ripe and very long, with intense mineral and spice notes adding cut.
Quoting Robert Parker: "...sensational values from Toro, one of my favorite Spanish appellations in the province of Zamora. This estate largely follows organic viticultural practices in its north-facing vineyards. The soils are primarily sandy/loam, and all of the head-pruned vineyards were planted between 1880 and 1940, and the wines are made from tiny yields." (11/2013)