When I learned that wine star Telmo Rodriguez was going to be in town doing a tasting of his wines, I signed up in a flash. Telmo is a rock star of winemakers in Spain where he is back at the helm of his flagship winery, Remelluri. I remember very well our first visit to his winery about 10 years ago. The next time we visited, we learned that there had been a falling out and that Telmo wasn’t involved with Remelluri. That was when Telmo started out on his own and literally started making wines all over Spain. Then the family reconciled and Telmo is back leading Remelluri.
Just how good is Remelluri? If you check the Wine Advocate, you’d be hard pressed to find any score under 90 points. But while Telmo was away from the family winery, he was making headlines- and great scores- on his own. And that’s what we tasted the other night: practically his entire portfolio.
His Verdejo blend Basa at $14 was a great find: fruity, lean, a true food wine; and the Godello Gaba do Xil was rich in texture, another outstanding white wine. But Telmo’s skills really came through in his red wines. The two Mencia wines were fruity and approachable, yet distinctly different in style, and cost: the 2013 Gabo do Xil was a real find at $18 yet the 2012 Mencia, As Caborcas, sourced from decades-old vineyards, and priced at $73, was a tannin time bomb.
A real buy was the Monastrell, Al-mouvedre 2013; at $15 you get a fruit-laden unctuous wine with aging potential. And his tempranillos from different areas of Spain showed how versatile this grape was in the hands of a great winemaker.The Rioja Lanzaga 2008 was superb and although not a steal at $43, it was lean and mean, more like an iron fist in a velvet glove. A step up was the Gago 2012 at $34 and the masterpiece was the 2011 Pago La Jara which at $78, made the $43 Lanzaga look like a bargain.
We finished the evening with his Muscatel Molino Real from Malaga, a rich and luscious dessert wine on the dry side.
We’ll be visiting Remelluri on our Rioja tour next month and Telmo said he was looking forward to meeting our wine lovers.