Teso La Monja Almirez is the second step in quality. The wine is 100% Tonta de Toro (Tempranillo). Fully de-stemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts. After a long maceration on skins to extract colour and tannin the wine spends 12 months in 30% new French oak.
What a wine it is! At 7 years old it is looking mature, but I have a feeling that it will hold on for a long time yet. Cola, spice, earth and leather with red fruits, floral notes and much more. Like all great old Tempranillo it is super silky in the mouth. It is a wine style I love to drink and feel that at this price it is unmissable. Pair with roast lamb. Drink over the next 5 years or so.
The estate of Teso La Monja is 41.7ha of massal selection of Tinta de Toro (the local name for Tempranillo). This means they propagate the vines that have perfectly adapted to the climate and soil of the area. The age of the vines sits between 15 to 65 years. The vineyards are all run organically. The Eguren family has been cultivating vines since 1870. They have estates in Rioja, Toro and Castilla Y Leon (Vinos de la Tierra). The wines range from affable and easy drinking, to amazingly complex and long lived.
There is a lot to love about Toro. While Rioja and Ribera get all the attention, Toro can make some stunning Tempranillo albeit in a more intense style. The soils are a bit Burgundian with sandy clay over a limestone subsoil. The surface is intermixed with rounded stones that retain heat and radiate during the cool nights, helping the grapes achieve full ripeness. They have warm days and cold nights which allows for long growing seasons. The climate is dry – annual rainfall levels are less than half of Rioja and much less than Ribera del Duero.
Top quality grape grown all over the Peninsula (with many pseudonyms). It can be used for Rosado or Joven (released after 6 months) all the way up to Gran Reserva (60 months in the winery). It ages very well and top examples are said to compare to Burgundy. Cherry and cola are typical descriptors, it has moderate to low acid, moderate tannin and the naturally high pH allows for a silky mouthfeel that is not seen in other red wines.