Teso la Monja Alabaster 2013 Front Label
Teso la Monja Alabaster 2013 Front Label

Teso la Monja Alabaster 2013

  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE93
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I also had two vintages of Alabaster to taste, starting with the cooler 2013 Alabaster, a cuvée of 11.5 hectares of centenary, ungrafted, head-pruned vines in the 'pagos' Valdemiano, La Jara and Marinacea in the village of Toro. The yields were minuscule, nine hectoliters per hectare and the hand-destemmed grapes fermented in open top vats with foot treading and very soft pumping over for some ten days at 28 degrees Celsius. They use yeasts that have been selected from their own vineyards for the fermentation. The wine matured in new French oak barrels for 18 months with rackings every four months. There is a plus of finesse and harmony here, of concentration and power too, but the price difference with the Victorino is hard to justify. There's some creaminess, even though the oak feels quite nicely integrated, especially considering the barrels are all new, but the juice is so intense and concentrated that can take that regime. The tannins are very fine, and feel a little more integrated with the glossy fruit. The extra length of the vegetative cycle that year surely brought that sensation of 'slow cooking' to achieve that perfect ripeness. Give it a little more time in bottle and this should improve and finish integrating all its components in an even way.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Dense and harmonious, austere but balanced, this red offers currant, licorice, espresso and tar flavors. Firm tannins and balsamic acidity provide plenty of structure. A big wine, more reserved than flamboyant.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Charred aromas of shoe polish and toasty oak frame additional scents of lemon peel, blackberry, cassis and animal hide. This is on the syrupy side, with cutting acidity and fierce tannins. Flavors of maple, molasses, chocolate, vanilla and coffee accent core blackberry and cassis. It's rugged, rich and ripping on the finish.
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Teso la Monja

Teso la Monja

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Teso la Monja, Spain
Teso la Monja  Winery Image

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 wine.

STC943413_2013 Item# 306979

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