Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2010

Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2010
At Atlas we have followed the wines of one particular Spanish winemaker more closely than any other: Telmo Rodriguez. Below, Simon offers the 2010 Remelluri Rioja Reserva.

Telmo could easily  be considered something of a roving winemaker as he makes wine across Spain under his own name in Rioja (Altos Lanzaga and the other-worldly micro cuvée Las Beatas) but also in the Ribera del Duero, in Toro, in Valdeorras, in Cigales, in Rueda, in Cebreras, in Alicante and in Malaga……That’s quite a grand tour of Spain and it is easy to understand why The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin termed Telmo ‘the pocket dynamo’!
It is not just the range of wines that impresses; in each and every region the quality stands out. Over the last five or six years he has really carved out a reputation for innovation and for breathing life into lesser known regions. What perhaps isn’t as well known is that a celebrated, historic property on the outskirts of a village called Labastida in Rioja Alavesa is actually Telmo’s family estate. The 10th century property of Remelluri was purchased by the Rodriguez family in 1967 and is a sizeable estate covering some 108 hectares. Its reputation hasn’t always been everything it should have been. Enter Telmo, stage left, and all of a sudden the contracts to supplement estate grown fruit were terminated so that Remelluri could focus on its own terroir, a significant overhaul of the viticultural procedures took place and a conversion to biodynamics commenced. Telmo is wasting no time.
The first vintage where Remelluri returned to estate grown fruit was the 2009 and already Telmo’s impact was being noted. I should add that, rather than just simply dumping the growers whose fruit was sold to Remelluri, Telmo volunteered to help them to create their own brand so it will be interesting to keep an eye out for those new labels in due course.
The 2010 Remelluri Reserva, from an impressive vintage in Rioja, represented yet another step forward for this rejuvenated estate and, while I would concur with critics who say that the best is yet to come, I think you would be hard-pressed to deny the value offered by this vintage, particularly given that we have been able to purchase at a sharp level.
Our buyer, Victoria Stephens-Clarkson MW, recently tasted the 2010 and her note follows below:
The 2010 Reserva is a particularly elegant style of Rioja. It has fine red fruit notes on the nose, but there is no danger of the clunky, awkward oaky notes that can accompany lesser examples from this region. Lifted aromas of berried and gentle spice give way to an altogether richer, supple-edged palate. The real distinction of this wine is its lovely depth of warm, supple fruit, accompanied by a fine curve of acidity that keeps the wine fresh, but doesn’t dominate it. Impeccable balance with a long, summer berry finish, and mellow notes of woodsmoke and spice on the finish that comes from classic Reserva Rioja.
This echoes what I have come to associate with Telmo’s winemaking – very sleek, fine-tuned wines, no harsh edges with a gradually building sense of concentration. I have included a tasting note from Josh Raynolds and Luis Guitterez below.
2010 Remelluri Rioja Reserva
£180 per 12 bottle case in bond
92 points, Josh Reynolds,
Vivid ruby. Red berries, cherry pit and potpourri on the pungent, spice-accented nose. Sappy and concentrated, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter with air and take a turn toward darker fruits. Shows excellent focus and thrust on the persistent finish, which features silky tannins and a seductive floral pastille quality. I'd love to taste this wine and its elegant '09 sibling side-by-side in another five years.
93 points, Luis Guitterez,
The wine that represents the house style and also the biggest volume here with around 350,000 bottles produced is the 2010 Reserva which was cropped from an almost perfect growing season. A blend of the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and the whites Viura and Malvasía Riojana, it fermented with indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless steel and oak vats then matured in French oak barrels for 17 months. The nose has earthy aromas and notes of ripe orange peel giving old-style character to the wine marked by very well-integrated oak and an obvious Rioja character. There are cherries, plums and spices with licorice and ink aromas. The day after, it has more strawberries with very good freshness, so the evolution in bottle should be good. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and good acidity that ends with sweet fruit flavors and something earthy, very pleasant and easy to drink. It grows on you. 2015 to 2025.
I would urge you to read the words rather than to focus solely on the score; this is more impressive for its level than the points might suggest and at this price is something of a bargain.
I will be fascinated to see how the name of Remelluri progresses in years to come.
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