No topsoil, old bush-vines going crazily every which way, native flora and fauna surrounding the vineyard – could it be – yes it is! Telmo Rodriguez in Ribera del Duero talking to an enraptured group of US distributors.
“Guigal produces 2 million bottles of this wine each year, and this makes their success even more remarkable. It’s not too difficult to make a few thousand bottles of a remarkable wine. Far, far harder is to source fruit from 75 different growers and ensure they all deliver top-class grapes to the right place and right time—and that no one’s slipping in bunches from that inferior vineyard you eliminated from the contract last year.
Then, to make a wine of this quality, age it for two years, bottle it, ship it to the U.S. (and other markets), pay duty, distribution costs, wholesaler and retailer markup, and still sell it for $15 is not only extraordinary—it’s an act of winemaking genius.
The wine itself is a blend of syrah, which brings weight and spice to the show, grenache, which brings a fresh fruitiness; and mourvèdre, which brings a silky elegance. Here all three work seamlessly and gloriously together, resulting in a rich and earthy wine of huge seductive appeal.”
Read the full article here.
We love the map on Telmo Rodriguez’ website, designed by a friend of his, and depicting the wine regions he works in throughout Spain. We wanted a nice high-resolution version so we would read it, and we love it even more now. Beware of totally new extreme trout in Galicia! And note that in Malaga the people are obsessed with an 18th century fabled sweet mountain wine and do nothing else but go on about it!
Click on the map below to download a large version.
Renowned Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez recently attended the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, an annual and widely attended wine event that has been held since 1979. The festival’s theme changes each year, and this year’s focus was on wines from Spain.
In its coverage of the event, the local news publication Pique had the following to say about Telmo:
“By any measure, winemaker Telmo Rodriguez is a breath of fresh European air. Known for shunning traditional Spanish wine routes, Rodriguez has taken to the Spanish countryside to produce single-vineyard wines from lesser-known sites that technically appear to possess all the attributes required to make fine wine. By making wines outside the rules, he is able to take advantage of all the information available to the modern-day winemaker.
The Telmo Rodriguez Basa ($18) is a white wine from Rueda, where verdejo, once thought to be an unremarkable regional grape, is making waves. Basa, which loosely translates as “foundation,” expresses Rodriguez’s attempt to uncover the potential of Rueda and the lowly verdejo. Packed with grapefruit, mineral, gooseberry, passion fruit, melon rind and green apple flavours it is now under screw cap for complete reliability. Try it with sushi and you will soon be reaching for it regularly.”
Click here to read the full article
Every year, Daily Mail wine columnist Matthew Jukes releases his list of 100 Top Australian wines. The wines are selected after a comprehensive year-long process of tasting and represents what Jukes considers to be the finest Australian wines in the UK market.
Since Matthews first started releasing this list in 2004, 12 wineries have consistently made the list year after year. Boutique producer Mitolo is among those wineries, along with De Bortoli, Fox Gordon, Jacob’s Creek, McWilliam’s, Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, St Hallett, The Lane Vineyard, Tyrrell’s, Wirra Wirra and Yalumba.”They reflect what is truly exciting, engaging, passionate and essential about Aussie wine and they have all gained a well-earned place in the very highest echeleons of the world of wine,” said Jukes.
The 2009 Mitolo Jester Shiraz made this year’s Top 100 list, accompanied by a fantastic write-up from Jukes:
“Frank Mitolo is justifably proud of his record in the 100 Best. This top notch operation is one of the most impressive in the country and the wines never fail to impress. I have long been a fan of the value attached to the Jester Series, which has a very sprightly Vermentino in its numbers these days. The Shiraz is always a cracker and he always keeps the concentration, silkiness and wow factor ratcheted up to a max. This vintage is no exception. With Turkish Delight, briary, fresh-picked berries and succulent steak au poivre
meatiness this is a true star and it’s still a cracking price.”
Shaw + Smith 2010 Sauvignon Blanc also made the Top 100 list, with the following impressive mention:
“Martin and Michael nail their trademark white again in 2010 with this sniper-sighted Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a perennial favourite, but this year it has even more taut and nervy herbal notes than usual. This wine has proved to be a massive hit on my 100 Best Roadshow and the comments that I hear time and time again are that the elegance of AH Sauvignon is so much better suited to our experienced, ‘European palates’ than the majority of the wines from NZ.”
Errazuriz has been getting top reviews from Chile for two years running, but this week’s set of reviews by Josh Raynolds in IWC are among the best to date – namely, these reviews confirm that Errazuriz is making compelling wines across a number of varieties and appellations. It is an extremely impressive picture when taken together. Overall, two of the top three wines are from Errazuriz (Vinedo Chadwick 2008 and Don Max 2008), and in addition we had an astounding array of 90 Point scores across the Single Vineyard/Specialty wines you can download here a little sheet we did listing these scores.
Telmo Rodriguez’s 2009 Gabo do Xil was written up in a New Zealand local newspaper today. Godello is an indigenous grape variety that hails from Valdeorras in Spain and the Xil is the Celtic name for the river Xil that runs through it.
Here is a snippet from the article:
“The Gaba Do Xil Godello 2009 is an absolute delight. A pale green-tinged straw-coloured wine it is packed full of tropical fruits and herbs. Most noticeable are flavours of grapefruit, pineapple and apricot with melon and white peach in the background. It’s medium bodied with a lovely texture; the finish is crisp, dry and has great length.”
Click here to view the full article.
In the just released edition of the Wine Spectator Insider Report, Wine Spectator’s Australian critic gave Shaw + Smith’s 2009 M3 Chardonnay a score of 92 points. In his tasting note, he described the wine as “distinctly spicy, with nutmeg and clove overtones to the pear and grapefruit flavors, weaving in walnut and filbert notes as the finish lingers impressively.”
The grapes for M3 are hand picked and whole fruit pressed prior to barrel fermentation and maturation in French oak. Wild yeast fermentation and extended time on lees impart further complexity. The oak is restrained, allowing the pure fruit character to shine through.
Cos d’Estournel’s 2010 reviews have been stellar. Here’s a summary of some of the major press:
“Representing 55% of the production and cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare, Cos d’Estournel’s final blend in 2010 is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest tiny portions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Compared to the massive 2009 (14.6% natural alcohol), the 2010 achieved slightly less alcohol, but also a lower pH, which accounts for its more tannic, backward, huge style. An inky/purple color is accompanied by aromas of damp earth, black currants, blackberries, licorice and charcoal. Firm, thick and super-concentrated, it is another outrageously impressive wine that will require 6-10 years of cellaring. It should keep for 30+ years. It is somewhat 2005-ish in its structure and palate impression.” 95-97 Robert Parker
This offers a terrific panoply of dark tea, cocoa, savory herb and red currant confiture aromas. Remarkably dense, with loads of strapping dark fruit and tar in reserve. There’s massive structure, yet this is rounded and so, so long. A huge wine in the making. This is going to compete with the elite of the vintage. A truly superb effort. Contains 1 percent Petit Verdot, for first time since 2005.” 96-99 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
“This is a classic Cos, with wonderful layers of ultra-polished tannins and wonderful character of spices, currants and minerals. I love the finish and raciness to this. Lots of pedigree.” 96-97 James Suckling
The Boston Globe notes that Telmo Rodriguez will be in Boston on May 16th at The Blue Room, and gives a little background on his philosophy and approach in Spain. Namely, “he has made a career of reviving quality winemaking in some of Spain’s less well-known regions by recovering and spotlighting their native grapes. If you’ve tasted wine from Rueda or Toro recently, or sipped a godello or verdejo, it’s because Rodriguez put them on the map.” You can see the full piece here, and the video they link to is on one of our previous posts, here. The Globe correctly notes to “watch out for that funky chicken soundtrack”.