2013 Telmo Rodriguez "Las Beatas" Rioja (chipped wax capsule) (Previously $200)

SKU #1283838 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The real test for the newish top cuvée was to see its behavior in a more challenging vintage. I had tasted the 2013 Las Beatas from the oak vat in my previous visit and didn't find it that bad. The field blend of this old terraced vineyard includes Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Garnacha Blanca and other grapes, as it was the norm in the old times. It fermented in 1,000- and 3,000-liter oak vats and matured in 1,200-liter oak foudres in an old cellar, located in the village of Ollauri, following the strictest tradition for some 15 months. The nose reminded me of wet chalk straight away, a fine and subtle minerality, slowly opening up to aromas of violets and lavender. It had hints of pollen and honey wax, perfumed but in a subtle way. It is perhaps a little more austere and reticent than previous vintages that were warmer and drier. There is a big difference in the acidity that provides for an effervescent texture, with a terse sensation, with tension and a tasty finish with notes of acid berries. This feels like a real triumph over the conditions of the vintage, and a year that should evolve nicely in bottle. This is a scarce wine, with some 1,500 bottles filled in April 2015. We also did a mini-vertical from 2011 to 2014 to follow up on the evolution, comparing the four different vintages bottled until now. They are evolving at a glacial pace; the four vintages show different, but there is a common character...[i.e. These wines need time...] (LG)  (8/2016)

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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.


Alcohol Content (%): 14