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Teso La Monja Alabaster 2012 750ml
SKU 782257
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Teso La Monja Alabaster Tempranillo 2012

Toro - Castilla Y Leon - Spain

Professional Wine Reviews for Teso La Monja Alabaster Tempranillo 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
Out of Stock
I've Had This
95 Stephen Tanzer
95 Robert Parker

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Additional Information on Teso La Monja Alabaster Tempranillo 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

There are plenty of notable native Spanish grapes which have made a big impression on the wine world at large, but none are as renowned or as widely loved as the Tempranillo varietal. This black skinned grape has been used for wine making for centuries, with several ancient civilizations noticing the fact that it is highly versatile and holds some delicious flavors and aromas, perfect for those looking for a powerful yet elegant grape for their wines. Tempranillo often causes winemakers some trouble, however, as it is highly susceptible to many diseases. Despite this, plenty continue to persevere with this varietal, as it is perfect for producing delicious and complex single variety and blended wines, packed full of classic Spanish flavors and plenty of aromatic and intense surprises.

Region: Castilla Y Leon

Castilla y Leon, in the heart of Spain, is a fascinating wine region with plenty of history, tradition and character going into each and every bottle which is produced there. The expansive, dry and arid plateau of Castilla y Leon means that the grapevines which grow there have to work hard to reach the moisture below ground, resulting in grapes which express plenty of the terroir they grow in, and thus reveal lots of flavor, aromas and the character of the region itself. Despite the difficult conditions and the blazing heat of Castilla y Leon, plenty of grape varietals grow there. As such, there is a wide range of red and white wines associated with the area, and wineries have generations of experience and expertise in making the most of the fruits they cultivate.

Country: Spain

Ever since the Phoenicians and Romans brought their knowledge of vine cultivation to Spanish soils, the country's culture has grown alongside wine production, with wine being a vital part of Spanish identity and Spanish traditions. Each region of Spain has a wine quite distinct from the others, and it is produced by smallholders and families as much as it is by large companies and established wineries. From the relatively mild and lush regions of La Rioja to the arid plateaus that surround Madrid, grapes are grown in abundance for the now booming Spanish wine industry, and new laws and regulations have recently been put in place to keep the country's standards high. By combining traditional practices with modern technology, Spanish wineries are continuing to produce distinctive wines of great character, flavor and aroma, with the focus shifting in recent decades to quality over quantity.