Remelluri Rioja

By Kerry Winslow

Telmo Rodriguez (right)

One of Spain’s great estates, Remelluri is made by the famed Telmo Rodriguez, a legendary winemaker that is crafted world beating Rioja from the family Bodega in Rioja Alavesa. Telmo’s reds are often compared with the grand Chateaux of Bordeaux and his white uniquely reminds of Grand Cru White Burgundy & Chateau de Beaucastel if you were to mix them! Having the chance to meet and taste Telmo’s wines was a great honor and I am grateful for the experience, especially to taste the latest wines and hear his thoughts on the winemaking and farming practice, much of which he keeps quiet on, though he believes in extreme selection of grapes and highlighting the terroir. The Remelluri Rioja will be 100% estate fruit from the 2009 vintage on, and a new label was created to use the neighboring vineyards, which have been purchased for years, this new label with be known as Lindes de Remelluri and will be offered at unbelievable price for the quality level, while the main estate wine will just become a bit more rare and showcase the terroir and Telmo’s talent to much higher degree. Based on my tasting, which included a few wines from prior to the change, Rodriguez is on the right path, the wines are amazing and without question some of the best Rioja made.

2008 Remelluri, Rioja Alavesa, Spanish Red.
This mineral laced wine is is about 90% old vine Tempranillo with small amounts of Graciano and Garnacha raised in mostly French Oak, though some American barrels can be used as well, Telmo lets the grapes tell him what is needed to show their best. The nose is striking with violets, flint, smoke and cassis notes leading to a firm structured palate of black cherry, currant, mountain berry and plum fruits layered with pencil lead, vanilla bean, tobacco leaf, aromatic herbs and cedar wood spices. While tightly wound and tannic it opens nicely with air and should be a classic long lived Rioja on par with top Bordeaux. The care and stylish winemaking are in full evidence and this beautiful wine is a must have choice when adding to your cellar.
($45 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive

2009 Remelluri, Lindes de Remelluri, Rioja Alavesa, Spanish Red.
This wine is a no-brainer, a lovely and lush Rioja with true Tempranillo charm and depth, and is a wine that has quality to spare. If you are looking for a top notch Rioja, and want to best value around, this is your wine, no and ifs or buts, it is crazy good at any price. Dark fruits, rich body and lengthy finish highlight the new Lindes de Remelluri, made from sourced fruit from Remelluri’s neighboring sites and with strict farming and tiny yields. The nose shows loads of ripe blackberry, plum and cherry with floral notes and sweet spices and anise. Very vibrant and focused the 2009 Lindes de Remelluri is a class act and a wonderful wine.
($30 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

2009 Remelluri, Rioja Blanco, Spanish White.
 This amazing white has numerous varietals, including Chardonnay, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne plus other grapes that all make it a fantastic wine to try and enjoy. Telmo Rodriguez, the master winemaker has created a wine with the style and depth of a great Hermitage Blanc or Chateauneuf Blanc, it reminds me of both Chaputier Ermitage Le Meal and Chateau de Beaucastel Blanc, two of my all time favorite white wines. This 2009 Remelluri Blanc is a striking and wonderful wine of class and richness, unlike any white Rioja you’ll ever see or taste, with peach, apricot, apple and lemon/lime fruits, clarified cream, liquid minerals and hints of butterscotch plus a touch of honeycomb, this beauty is pure pleasure. The 2007 was a bit learner and surely has it’s admirers, but I adore the 2009 and find it ravishing and the finish goes for miles. In some ways it also reminds me of the Gassac Blanc, though I think I might give the edge to Telmo’s Blanco.
($80 Est.) 94-96 Points, grapelive

(Originally tasted in May 2012)

These wines have now arrived in the USA

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