2012 Bodegas Teso La Monja "Almirez" Toro (Previously $20)

SKU #1224344 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Almirez (a 1,000-case cuvée of 100% Tinta de Toro) was aged 14 months in French oak. This sensational wine comes from vines planted between 1949 and 1999. Yields were a conservative 1.8 tons of fruit per acre. An inky/purple color is followed by aromas of camphor, ground pepper, blackberries and cassis. This full-bodied, Northern Rhône Valley-like Spanish red exhibits meaty/lard notes, terrific density and purity, and a finish that lasts nearly 40 seconds. It should drink nicely for a decade or more. This large estate in Toro is owned by the Eguren family, who also owns the Dominio de Eguren winery. These two value-priced cuvées, primarily fashioned from old vines planted between 1880 and 1999, are from head-pruned vines. They represent impressive quality. (RP)  (11/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (malo in small oak barrels followed by aging in French oak, one-third of it new, for 12 months): Opaque purple. Smoky blueberry and cherry compote aromas pick up a peppery nuance with air, along with a subtle mocha quality. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, concentrated black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of lavender pastille. Spreads out nicely on the juicy, penetrating finish, which is framed by silky, slow-building tannins. (JR)  (9/2014)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Brawny aromas of asphalt, roofing tar and rubber are balanced by smooth, deep blackberry and cassis scents. This is tannic and rugged, but the palate also offers buttery, oaky richness and depth. Heavily toasted plum and blackberry flavors finish with heat and a taste of dark chocolate. (MS)  (9/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A polished texture conceals the solid structure in this muscular red, which offers currant and blackberry flavors that show notes of espresso and tar. Gamy and savory accents lend this an austere character, but fresh acidity maintains liveliness. Best from 2016 through 2024. (TM)  (3/2015)

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By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/3/2015 | Send Email
This Tempranillo (known in the DO simply as “Tinta de Toro”) is big in every way: good Parker score, prominent oak, lush palate, and inky, intense fruit. Almirez proved to be a customer favorite during a Spanish tasting earlier this year and continues to impress with its bold cherry notes, luxurious finish, and sub-$20 price point.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/14/2015 | Send Email
A great example of wine from Toro! This wine is very full, rich, and luscious in body with strong, ripe fruits and elegant French oak. The grapes are sourced from older vines in this hotter climate, which gives the fruit concentration and richness, aligning well with the generous use of French oak. The resultant wine is definitely a food wine! If you love big, dark-fruited wines with a good expression of terroir, don't miss this one!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/13/2015 | Send Email
Bright aromas of kirsch and ripe blueberries are sweetly aromatic, literally leaping from the glass. Chai spices also contribute to the pretty aromatic profile. On the palate, the wine shows brooding dark fruit and spicy oak, as it usually does, with flavors that I would describe as falling somewhere between a Syrah and a structured Washington Bordeaux blend. As usual, this is serious wine for fans of full bodied reds with a nice tannic backbone. At under $20 there is a lot of wine for the money.

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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.