Teso La Monja Alabaster 2012 750ml
SKU 782257

Teso La Monja Alabaster 2012

Teso La Monja - Castilla Y Leon - Spain - Toro

Professional Wine Reviews for Teso La Monja Alabaster 2012

Rated 95 by Stephen Tanzer
(malo and 18 months of aging in small, new French oak barrels): Bright purple. Deeply scented spice- and smoke-accented aromas of ripe cherries, boysenberry and cassis, lifted by a suave floral element. Shows impressive depth and vivacity to its black and blue fruit liqueur flavors sharpened by juicy acidity; a smoky mineral quality adds another element. Supple, harmonious tannins come on late, adding focus to the sweet, strikingly long, mineral-driven finish.
Rated 95 by Robert Parker
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.
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Other Vintages: 2012 2009
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I've Had This
95 Stephen Tanzer
95 Robert Parker
93 Wine Spectator

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Additional Information on Teso La Monja Alabaster 2012

Winery: Teso La Monja

Vintage: 2012

2012 has, so far been a positive year for wineries around the world. While it may be a little too early to speak of the wines being made in the northern hemisphere, European and North American wineries have already begun reporting that their harvesting season has been generally very good, and are predicting to continue with the kind of successes they saw in 2011. However, 2012 has been something of a late year for France, due to unpredictable weather throughout the summer, and the grapes were ripening considerably later than they did in 2011 (which was, admittedly, an exceptionally early year). French wineries are claiming, though, that this could well turn out to be advantageous, as the slow ripening will allow the resulting wines to express more flavour and features of the terroir they are grown in. The southern hemisphere has seen ideal climatic conditions in most of the key wine producing countries, and Australia and New Zealand particularly had a superb year, in particular with the Bordeaux varietal grapes that grow there and which love the humidity these countries received plenty of. Also enjoying a fantastic year for weather were wineries across Argentina and Chile, with the Mendoza region claiming that 2012 will be one of their best vintages of the past decade. Similar claims are being made across the Chilean wine regions, where Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon had an especially good year. These two grape varietals also produced characterful wines on the coastal regions of South Africa this year.

Varietal: Tempranillo

Without any doubt, the flagship grape varietal of Spain is the Tempranillo. This fine grape varietal has since been grown in several other countries around the world, and continues to be respected and admired for its deep ruby red color, its strong tannins, and the complex and delicious flavors it carries so well. Plum, vanilla, leather, tobacco and herb are just some of the characteristic flavors found in this black skinned grape varietal, and its power and fullness of features makes it a common grape for use in blended wines of exceptional quality. Tempranillo grapes thrive best in regions with a combination of bright, hot sunshine, and cooling breezes, where they can ripen fully and then be aged in oak barrels to mellow, become more rounded and allow their fascinating nature to come forward.

Region: Castilla Y Leon

From the beautifully robust, boisterous and spicy red Tempranillo wines of the west, to the fruity, aromatic white Verdejo wines from the Rueda, Castilla y Leon is a Spanish wine region with something to please everyone. The region itself is a particularly fascinating one for European wine fans, as it dates back several centuries and is, in many ways, the defining region of Spain for the country's viticultural identity. Dry, arid soils and baking heat produce wines of a unique character, coming from grapes which have to struggle to attain the moisture they require in order to ripen. The flavors of Castilla y Leon are big, bold and seductive, and packed full of all the passion and history only a country like Spain can provide.

Country: Spain

Spanish wines are renowned world-wide for carrying all the passion and character of the Spanish culture within them. Any lover of Spanish wine would undoubtedly be able to confirm this notion, as the variety and range of flavors and aromas coming from the high end of Spanish produce is truly impressive, and continues to delight and fascinate both newcomers and the more experienced. Spain benefits massively from an ideal climate for wine production and vine cultivation, with its long, scorching hot summers and far reaching oceanic breezes working perfectly with the native and imported grape varietals, which thrive on the mineral rich soils that cover much of the country. With centuries of knowledge, and generations of expertise under their belts, Spanish wineries continue to focus on raising the quality of their nation's wines, helped along the way by relatively new laws and regulations regarding regional excellence and representativeness.