Author: Nik Rasula
About the Maker: The rock star winemaker of Spain, Telmo Rodriguez set about on his revolutionary journey in 1994. After schooling in Bordeaux and internship in Hermitage, he returned to Spain. On return to the land of Barça and Real, Rodriguez discovered treasure in the ancient vines of spectacularly steep and terraced vineyards – left abandoned and nearly forgotten – after decades of Franco-era upheaval.
About the Vision: Believing the future is shaped by the past, Rodriguez set about on a mission of regional wine expression, revitalizing 350-plus vineyard sites – all 20 hectares or less – across nine Spanish regions; painstakingly removing wild overgrowth, rebuilding terraces and refurbishing operations. By recovering native grape varieties, he began producing wines traditional to each region (Moscatel in Malaga, Treixadura/Palomino/Doña Blanca blends in Valdeorras). Stand alone thinking in a 90s world enamored with noble varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
About Terroir: Situated on the Mediterranean coast 100 km south of Valencia, Rodriguez’ Alicante vineyard incurs a hot, arid climate. Receiving little rainfall (just over 10 inches annually) vines set root in soils of calcium, sand and small pebbles, yielding tiny harvests of concentrated fruit.
About the Grape: Long revered for the attributes of colour and tannin, Monastrell is known by pseudonyms Mataro, Mourvèdre and Torrentes. In France it (Mourvèdre) is a key component of the renowned Châteauneuf du Pape blend of the Southern Rhône.
About the Wine: Blackish purple in-glass, aromas of eucalyptus and black fruits prevail. In the mouth, the medium-bodied palate belies the wine’s dark appearance; as fresh flavours of mint, currant and pomegranate highlight the palate. The finish is long and slightly grippy. Decanting an hour or two recommended.
About Pairing: Barbequed beef short ribs, venison burgers, pulled pork.
About Sustainability: Traditional farming practices involving native grape varietals and low-yield bush-vines grown on restored historic vineyard sites.
About Alcohol Level: 14% abv
About Availability: Check liquorconnect.com (call the listed store too) confirming availability.