23 May 2012 News

Charlene Peters, Boston City Guide Examiner editor and writer, attended the VINTUS Producer Tour in Cambridge several weeks ago.  Peters discusses her experience at the event, explaining that it solidified her love for certain wines and allowed her to discover a number of new wines as well.  The winemaker’s that took her by surprise and made an impressive showing were Finca Decero, Chateau Montelena, Xavier Milhade, Sandrone, Enrico Santini, and Telmo Rodriguez.

Click the image below to read the full article.

2nd May 2012 News

After tasting it at the VINTUS Tour tasting in New York, Elin McCoy names Telmo Rodriguez’ Gaba do Xil 2010 her Wine of the Week on Zester.  You can see the piece below or here.

A Spanish Spring Value

Wine of the Week: The 2010 Gaba do Xil Godello is among the best from Telmo Rodriguez’s Galicia vineyard.
By Elin McCoy | Monday, 30 April 2012 | 05:36

Elin McCoy’s Wine of the Week










2010 Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Godello Valdeorras

Price: $16
Region: Valdeorras, Spain
Grape: 100 percent Godello
Alcohol: 13.5 percent
Serve with: Seafood like scallops, mussels and lobster, vegetable pastas

At the Vintus Wines spring portfolio tasting in New York City last week, I found a surprising number of potential wines of the week. Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez was pouring several less-than-$20 candidates that really impressed me, especially this delicious white, the 2010 Gaba do Xil Godello from the region of Valdeorras. With aromas of orange peel and flowers, crisp flavors of chamomile, stones and fresh pears, and a full, round texture, it’s a tasty, versatile value that seemed to sing of spring.

Over the past 25 years, the still incredibly young-looking Rodriguez (he’s now 50) has emerged as one of the world’s most interesting and pioneering winemakers, on a mission to rediscover Spain’s best terroirs, its old abandoned vineyards, bush-trained vines and neglected indigenous grapes. He drives madly around the country checking on vineyards and wineries in different regions, from which he makes 20 wines. Recently he also took over at his family winery, Rioja’s Bodegas Remelluri, where he grew up.

Godello is a white variety native to Galicia, a region in the country’s northwest. There, in 2004, Rodriguez and his partner Pablo Eguzkiza purchased an ancient vineyard on steep granite terraces at an elevation of 1,500 feet in the town of Santa Cruz in the tiny Valdeorras area, where Romans once grew vines. They saw growers still employing the kind of pruning tools used in the Middle Ages and became convinced of the area’s potential to make serious wines. The label features iconic bridges found in Santa Cruz.

In his vineyard there, Rodriguez focuses on the Mencia (red) and Godello, farms the grapes biodynamically, handpicks them and ferments using mostly native yeast. All that helps give the wines character and authenticity.

You won’t go wrong with just about any wine made by Telmo Rodriguez — he seems to pour as much passion into his cheapest wine as he does into the most expensive. But the Gaba do Xil Godello is just perfect for spring and summer.

12 April 2012 News

An amazing interview of Telmo Rodriguez in the May issue of Decanter, as below, capturing the roots of Telmo’s deliberate efforts and philosophy.  Among other things, Telmo states that “Rioja has reached a turning point” and that this is the most interesting time for Spanish wine in over a century.  Click on the picture below to download the article.


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12 December 2011 News

Telmo Rodriguez’ Gago 2007 was selected as one of the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2011, a wonderful recognition.  As with all of Telmo’s wines, Gago is a unique and individual wine – Telmo was one of the first to rediscover vineyards of decades-old, bush-trained vineyards in Toro, and works specifically in the coolest southerly area of the region.  The distinctive red soils produce a Tinto de Toro (the local clone of Tempranillo) with tremendous fruit concentration, ripeness, and structure  The key is to conserve acidity and freshness, both through site selection and vinification.  Fermentation takes place in large cement casks, and ageing in a combination of foudres and smaller barrels.

The official Wine Spectator review is as follows:

Sleek and firm, this red delivers a firm core of cherry and berry flavors, with accents of smoke, cocoa, mineral and herb. More dense than broad, with lively underlying acidity. Drink now through 2018. 91 Points

18 October 2011 News

The press behind the Ferrer Bobet wines is honestly astonishing.  We were just forwarded an article in which Spanish Magazine “VINO + GASTRONOMIA” did a comprehensive study to determine the 300 greatest wines in Spain.   Ferrer Bobet Seleccio Especial 2008 comes in as the number four red wine in all of Spain, behind Vega Sicilia Unico and just two other wines.  More to look forward to!  Telmo Rodriguez also had two wines on the list, the barrel-fermented Rueda that he just launched (“El Transistor”) and Pegaso 2007.

You can see the study here (in Spanish), it’s quite beautifully presented:

11 October 2011 News

Amorita Bastaja, wine editor of  Vancouver’s Scout Magazine, takes a tour of the Telmo Rodriguez winery high above Rioja Alavesa.  As she wonders among 80 year old Tempranillo bush vines with Pablo, the winemaker/partner at Telmo Rodriguez, he explains to her that soil and its purity is key to the vineyards.  An excerpt is below:


“His plots have a very red soil, flecked with calcium. He comments that his vines are very close together and I tell him that I disagree. Compared to other regions his plants are very far apart. He then takes me to a vineyard he doesn’t own. The vines are trained very high and extremely close together. The soil is also a different colour.

I ask him why this is and he explains that this owner decided the vineyard didn’t have enough soil, so he just bought some and spread it around. He also points out that the Tempranillo is not in its “true state” being trained so high and in neat little rows. He finds it completely ludicrous to bring soil from another region and train the vines in a way they don’t normally grow. “It takes away the essence of the wines, what makes them quintessentially Rioja,” he tells me. “One no longer tastes the region in the bottle”.

We finish our tour in the barrel room where I sample the great value LZ, one of the 3 Riojas that Telmo produces (approx $25 in private stores). Chock full of blackberries, minerality and firm tannins, this young wine needs time, but it was still a lovely sign of things to come.”


Click here to read the full story.

14 September 2011 News

One of Telmo’s most recent viticultural projects is the indigenous variety Mencia from Valdeorras, a wild and remote area in the northwestern corner of Spain. Made from 100% hand-picked grapes fermented with native yeasts, this just-released wine received an extremely impressive review in the October 2011 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine:

13 September 2011 News

An article in the October 15, 2011 edition of Wine Spectator, “Bright Stars & Big Surprises,” praises a few of Spain’s leading winemakers, and draws some interesting comparisons between Telmo Rodriguez and Miguel Torres. Here is an excerpt:

“Rodríguez, 48, is one of the most intriguing stories in Spanish wine today. His career makes an interesting counterpoint to that of Miguel Torres of Catalonia, whose innovations since the 1960s in many ways foreshadowed Rodríguez’s ventures.

Both men brought international influences to Spain, especially from France. Torres, 69, was among the first, and arguably the most influential, of vintners to plant French grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in Spain; his “Black Label” Cabernet (now named Mas La Plana) has long been a benchmark. The 2007 (90, $63) is dark and well-structured, with dried herb and mineral notes.

Rodríguez began his career at his family’s Bodegas Remelluri in Rioja, after studying in France and working in Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley. At Remelluri in the 1990s, he was a pioneer in his focus on estate-bottling, developing a fresher, more concentrated style of Rioja. (The winery’s top cuvée, the Colección Jaime Rodríguez, has earned outstanding scores in all three vintages I’ve reviewed: 2001, ’02 and ’03.)

Torres and Rodríguez have expanded well beyond their home bases. From Catalonia, Torres first moved south to Conca de Barberá and Priorat, then more recently west to Ribera del Duero and Rioja. Rodríguez established his own company in 2001 and now produces wines from nine different regions, mostly in the western half of the country; besides Toro and Rioja (he returned to Remelluri in 2010), they include Ribera del Duero, Cigales and Valdeorras in Galicia.

Both vintners focus on value. From Torres, the 2010 Sangre de Toro Viña Sol (85, $11), made from the indigenous Parellada grape, is a soft-textured white with notes of melon and pear, while the 2010 Sangre de Toro de Casta (84, $10), a refreshing dry rosé from Garnacha and Cariñena, shows creamy raspberry and wild strawberry flavors. Rodríguez delivers the 2010 Basa (85, $15), a Verdejo-based white from Rueda that’s focused and flinty, and the 2009 Al Muvedre (85, $15) from Alicante, a supple, spicy red made from Monastrell.

Perhaps their most important similarity is their devotion to the environment and natural winemaking. Rodríguez is moving all of his vineyards toward biodynamic cultivation, while Torres is a global leader in combating climate change through the use of renewable energy and reducing carbon footprints. Both vintners support indigenous grapes and despite-or perhaps because of-their understanding of international trends, are fiercely devoted to making Spain’s wines not only as good, but as “Spanish” as possible.

Torres and Rodríguez have also put extensive effort into white wines. Long seen as the stepchildren of Spanish wine, whites are now a strong suit, providing great diversity and enjoyment.”

31 August 2011 News

Wall Street journal columnist Lettie Teague wrote an interesting article this past weekend on what makes people remember certain wines they drink. On her personal list of most memorable wines is the 2009 Dehesa Gago, from Telmo Rodriguez. Here’s why:

2009 Dehesa Gago Toro Spain, $12

“Telmo Rodriguez, the creative genius behind Dehesa Gago G and other Spanish wines, is a man with a lot to say. I’d barely gotten off the airplane in Madrid a few years ago when Mr. Rodriguez began telling me about his vinous vision. That memory has remained with me, and I continue to be impressed by Mr. Rodriguez’s well-priced wines, like this concentrated, lush red from the Toro region.”

Read the full article here

22nd July 2011 News

The recently released Wine Advocate states in its Spanish coverage the following about Telmo Rodriguez: “The current Telmo Rodriguez collection includes wines produced in eight different DOs, all of them fermented with native yeasts. The fact that quality ranges from excellent to outstanding is a tribute to his talent and attention to detail.”  There follow a number of tremendous reviews, especially for some of his most modest wines, as follows.  Great confirmation of the authentic, pure, site-driven wines that Telmo makes at these unbelievably affordable price levels.

Gaba do Xil 2010:

“The 2010 Gaba do Xil Godello offers up an inviting nose of pear, mineral, melon, and jasmine. Ripe, savory, and vibrant on the palate, this smooth-textured wine will deliver enjoyment for another 3-4 years.” 89 points Wine Advocate

LZ 2009:

“The 2009 LZ is a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Graciano from the Alavesa region of Rioja. It was fermented and aged for 4-6 months in cement and stainless steel. Asian spices, violets, blackberry, and mineral notes inform the expressive bouquet. It opens in the glass to reveal savory, smooth, ripe, layered fruit and a pleasure-bent personality.” 90 points Wine Advocate

Dehesa Gago 2009:

“The 2009 Dehesa Gago from a great vintage in Toro was raised in tank. Intense black fruits, spice notes, violets, and licorice inform the alluring bouquet. Concentrated, balanced, and lengthy, this full-flavored, bargain-priced wine is a perfect match for burgers and pizza.” 90 points Wine Advocate

Almuvedre 2009:

“The 2009 Almuvedre is 100% Monastrell from the DO of Alicante fermented and aged in tank. Cassis, brier, underbrush, and blueberry elements inform the enticing nose and palate of this bargain priced wine.” 89 points Wine Advocate