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TELMO RODRÍGUEZ Las Beatas - Bortársaság


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Telmo Rodriguez is one of the most outstanding names in our Spanish selection. Along with Peter Sisseck and Alvaro Palacios, he is one of the leading figures of his place of growth (Rioja), and also the biggest pioneer of vineyard-based classification. He has travelled intensively throughout Spain, and in the last 30 years, he has worked on 355 different parcels, with a total of 80 hectares of grapes and 43 old local varieties. Among the several wine regions, the centre has always been Rioja, where he returned to in 1998, to search for old parcels, trying to figure out what Rioja wine used to be like before the Bordeaux merchants arrived in the wine region.

The northern sub-region of Rioja is Rioja Alavesa, and Telmo's estate here is called Bodega Lanzaga, where very limited quantities of parcel-selected wines are made. From a total of four vineyards in two villages, the wines are prepared in the traditional style: organic viticulture, spontaneous fermentation in open wooden vats, ageing in used barrels. The wines are real rarities, with only a few barrels being made and 1,500-2,000 bottles of each. This year, we’ve brought in some of them for the first time. The most popular of all is Las Beatas.

Telmo Rodriguez's best-selling wine comes from the 1.9-hectare terraced plot of Las Beatas. It’s the best-known of his single-vineyard wines. A steep northwest-facing slope with a cool wind, and 8-10 small terraces. Dating back to the 7th century, it has always been a particularly important vineyard, which took 15 years to renew, before it was transformed from a thicket into a vineyard again. A mixed plantation, with eight or nine old local varieties in addition to Tempranillo. Only one 1,200-litre barrel is produced from it each year. It’s a weightless, intense and unique wine with an amazingly long palate.

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