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Flat front label of wine

Teso la Monja Alabaster 2008

Tempranillo from Spain
  • RP95
  • WE93
  • WS92
14.5% ABV
  • JD96
  • WS95
  • JS94
  • WS96
  • RP93
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE93
  • WE97
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • WE95
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • RP94
  • WS94
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Currently Unavailable $225.00
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is a superstar of a wine, 100% Tinta de Toro (a.k.a. Tempranillo, when grown in other parts of Spain.) These vines, which squeak out no more than one half ton per acre, are 120 years old, and are still on their original rootstock, never touched by phylloxera, due to the extremely sandy soils in which they are planted. Glossy tannins and rich, glycerin texture- this is one heck of a mouthful, and a truly delicious one.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Alabaster went through malolactic in new French oak followed by racking to another set of 100% new barrels (the so-called 200% new oak treatment) where it remained for 18 months. Purple/black in color, it offers up a brooding bouquet of espresso, tar, licorice, minerals, lavender, and brooding black fruits. On the palate the oak is integrated but this massive effort will require a minimum of 8-10 years to become civilized. Exceptionally dense and rich but with all the right stuff present, it will be interesting to see how this behemoth of a wine turns out in another 15-20 years.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
A dark bruiser with heavy mocha, chocolate, tobacco, cola and crusty leather aromas in addition to massive fruit scents. It's huge in the mouth, with broad, grabby tannins, pumped-up acids and wide berry, vanilla an coconut flavors. Dark like coffee on the finish, with titanic tannins and foundation. Best from 2013 through 2016.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Toast, cocoa and espresso flavors frame a lively core of blackberry and licorice in this modern red, which is ripe yet bright, supported by firm tannins. Remains graceful through the clean finish. Drink now through 2020. 125 cases imported.
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Teso la Monja

Teso la Monja

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Teso la Monja, Spain
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After several years had passed of choosing the best vineyards and, at the same time, making some new plantations in privileged places, it was in 2007 when, with the skill of 10 successful years cultivating vineyards and producing famous wines, the winery Teso La Monja came about.

A wine region influenced by the presence of the river Douro, complemented by softly rugged-rolling terrain and a special microclimate with superb conditions for the growth of the grapevine. An area where the Eguren family has acquired very specific high quality north facing vineyards in the villages of the Zamora province Valdefinjas, Toro and Villabuena del Puente.

In these vineyards only one variety, the Tinta de Toro, native of this area, is grown. This variety has very low yields (around to 1,500 Kg / Ha) of small clusters and berries that synthesise a large amount of polyphenols, which makes it a favorable choice to make wine with structure and high aromatic concentration.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.

Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja also produces rich, nutty whites from the local Viura grape.

Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.

Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

TMP1478963_2008 Item# 111435