2009 Rioja Blanco DOC, Remelluri, Labastida

Tasting Notes

Neal Martin (Robert Parker) 93/100
The 2009 Rioja Blanco is a blend of nine different grape varieties planted between 650 and 800-meters above sea level. Telmo teased me by not disclosing the nine grape varieties (although it took me about ten seconds to find them listed on his US importer's website). It has a precise nose with faint traces of lime zest, freshly sliced grapefruit and white peach. The palate is well-balanced with crisp acidity, great tension, and honeysuckle, almond and shaved ginger on the very refined finish. This is outstanding, but alas only around 6,000 bottles are produced.


Vineyard Information

Neal Martin - Reviewed August 2012 www.erobertparker.com

A visit to Rioja could not pass without a stop at Bodegas Remelluri, now managed by the pocket dynamo that is Telmo Rodriguez. I jumped in his muddy 4x4 to inspect his high altitude vines up on the Sierre de Tolono mountains and isolated, uncultivated plots of potentially great terroir that Telmo is keen to exploit in the future. Remelluri is suffused with a sense of place and history, epitomized by the family's home that is veiled in a monastic aura, every nook and cranny coveting untold stories from the 14th century when the monks from the Tolono monastery founded a sanctuary on this site.

Do not be fooled, because now this estate is looking towards the future, through Telmo's eyes. Though I was impressed by their current releases, the phrase 'You ain't seen nothin' yet kept running through my mind, because it will take time for Telmo to implement his winemaking tenets that have been honed through extensive experience both in Spain and abroad. This includes converting Remelluri's vineyard to biodynamism and re-training the vines away from the trellis (something that Telmo abhors in Rioja). But one thing that he enacted immediately was the bold decision to convene growers from whom Remelluri had sourced fruit for many years, and inform them that this arrangement would cease forthwith.

Telmo was effectively putting them out of a job in order to focus upon his own terroir, and to use his own words, 'concentrate the personality of Remelluri. This culling of out-sourced fruit is effective from the 2009 vintage. To compensate these growers, Telmo offered his experience and contacts to assist them in creating their own label. He was encouraged by the positive response and galvanized growers to take responsibility for their own wine; he was essentially sowing the seeds of his own philosophy. So let us begin with this label, because it is well worth seeking out'


Colour White Origin Spain
Region Spain White ABV 14.50%
Drink From 2012 Drink To 2021
Special occasion, Fine Wine, Wine for the Cellar