Teso la Monja Alabaster 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
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.
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.