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Flat front label of wine

Telmo Rodriguez LZ 2009

Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
  • RP90
14% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP89
  • RP90
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3.4 5 Ratings
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3.4 5 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Telmo Rodriguez feels that with the 2009 vintage of LZ he is now able to more fully express the special area of Lanciego that he works in with this wine. The vineyards in Lanciego have old Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha, and grapes are harvested earlier than for Lanzaga or Altos de Lanzaga. 2009 was the first vintage of LZ vinified at the newly built cellars in Lanciego, and vinification switched from stainless steel tank to cement tank. The winemaking is straightforward, allowing the pure fruit, mineral and spice characteristics of the wine to shine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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. Drink this outstanding value over the next 6 years.

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.

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Telmo Rodriguez

Telmo Rodriguez

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Telmo Rodriguez, Rioja, Spain
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Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain’s pioneer winemakers, advocating native grape varietals tied to the climates and conditions of their sites, and making world-class wines from undiscovered as well as known regions. Perhaps most impressive, while Telmo Rodriguez makes rare and limited wines of astonishing character and quality, his everyday wines have been equally praised, and widely recognized for the tremendous value they offer.

Telmo studied viticulture and oenology at the University of Bordeaux and was the winemaker at his family winery in Rioja, Remelluri, and then set off on his own in the early 1990s to discover new vineyards and regions all around Spain. He now makes a range of wines in diverse viticultural areas of Spain, with an emphasis on the following: vineyards biodynamically farmed, vines are exclusively bush-trained the traditional Spanish method, replanting only with varietals traditional to their regions.

Telmo was among the first to make significant wines in Toro, Rueda, Valdeorras, Malaga, Alicante and Cigales. In these areas he uses native varietals, often grapes rediscovered such as Godello, Verdejo, Moscatel and Monastrell which do not have wide recognition. With other classically recognized varietals such Tempranillo, Garnacha and Carignan, he works with vines that are indigenous and reflect the character of their particular site. As a result, Telmo has been one of the leaders of the quality revolution with these varietals in up and coming areas such as Toro, as well as in the traditional areas of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

RPT5888396_2009 Item# 111608