Teso la Monja Alabaster 2012 Front Label
Teso la Monja Alabaster 2012 Front LabelTeso la Monja Alabaster 2012 Front Bottle Shot

Teso la Monja Alabaster 2012

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  • WS93
750ML / 14% ABV
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4.8 5 Ratings
750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Profound balance, terroir expression, elegant, silky and authentic.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Gorgeous from head to toe, this saturated Toro heavyweight sets a new high bar for this winery and the region as a whole. Ribald blackberry aromas are toasty and carry a strong note of crushed stones. Cassis, black plum and blackberry flavors are complex and inspired, while the finish tastes of chocolaty oak, blackened toast and a black-fruit potpourri supported by just the right amount of acidity. Drink from 2017–2030. Cellar Selection.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Alabaster is produced with the fruit of three plots (Valmediano, La Jara and Marinacea) of over 100-year-old, ungrafted and dry farmed Tempranillo vineyards in Toro, totaling 11.5 hectares. The bunches were hand-destemmed and the grapes fermented in open top vats with foot treading and soft pumping over. Malolactic fermentation was carried out in new French oak barriques where the wine matured for 18 months. I visited the Valmediano vineyard, at some 700 meters altitude; it is an ancient plot surrounded by pine trees where the main enemy are rabbits that eat all the leaves, grapes and branches from a handful of vines. The three vineyards are different and complement each other. What I liked about the 2012 was the sense of harmony and the subtlety to the aromas; everything is there, but nothing takes the leading role and the wine shows itself compact and as one, perfectly in synchronicity. There is something that made me think of Bordeaux here, perhaps that combination of energy, power and elegance. The palate is really balanced with ultra-refined tannins and a fine thread of acidity going through the core that is long and persistent. This wine is subtle, complex and elegant. This is the best wine I've ever tasted from Teso La Monja. As a reference, I tasted the 2010 that is also a superb vintage from Alabaster side by side with this, and there is one extra degree of depth and subtlety in this 2012. The 2010 is aging at glacial pace, and I don't see why the 2012 should age any faster, but it's approachable now and I think it should be pleasurable throughout its life. Only 4,000 bottles were filled in June 2014.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
The blackberry, boysenberry and plum flavors are ripe yet fresh in this bold red. Well-integrated tannins and vibrant acidity give this a weightless power, as spice, mineral and mocha notes echo on the long finish. Drink now through 2022.
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Teso la Monja

Teso la Monja

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Teso la Monja, Spain
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Teso La Monja was founded in 2007 by Marcos and Miguel Angel Eguren, the fourth winemaking generation of the Eguren family from San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alavesa. As they have been growing Tempranillo in Rioja Alavesa since the late 1800’s, the Eguren family fell in love with D.O. Toro when they first travelled there with Jorge Ordóñez, seduced by the region’s original clone of Tempranillo and ungrafted vines.

Jorge Ordóñez and the Eguren family were the original founders of Bodegas Numanthia, which was responsible, along with their current work, for the resurrection of D.O. Toro as one of Spain’s preeminent wine regions. After the sale of Numanthia in 2007, the Eguren family founded Teso La Monja as a new challenge for the family – finding the elegance in the wines of Toro.

The family selected vineyards in the northernmost part of D.O. Toro that have a much higher proportion of rounded stones than what is typical. This produces extremely silky, elegant wines. The winemaker, Marcos Eguren, is considered by many to be the finest winemaker in Spain. His son, Eduardo Eguren, the fifth generation, also works as the winemaker at Teso La Monja.

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Spain's remote, high elevation wine zone between the regions of Bierzo and Ribera del Duero produces intense, full-bodied reds made from Tempranillo, locally called Tinta de Toro. This local variant has adapted to the region’s climatic extremes and recognizing its potential, top producers from Ribera del Duero and Rioja have invested heavily in its vineyards.

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Notoriously food-friendly, long-lasting and Spain’s most widely planted grape, Tempranillo is the star variety of red wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Rioja terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate both barrel and bottle time before release. Traditionally blended in Rioja with Garnacha, plus a bit of Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, the Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero typically stands alone. Somm Secret—Tempranillo claims many different names depending on location. In Penedès, it is called Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Known as Tinta Roriz in Portugal, Tempranillo plays an important role in Port.

WBO30181720_2012 Item# 155611

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