This Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2015 is an iconic wine and the flagship wine of Telmo Rodriguez’s Remelluri estate; Telmo is renowned for his stance against the more commercial style of Rioja. This wine is produced with minimal intervention from old vine Tempranillo grapes blended with a little Graciano and Garnacha (Grenache) and it is certified organic. The 2015 vintage was hot and dry and old vines fared better than young vines in the heat though volume was lower. Flavour ripeness was high and the heat helped soften the tannins meaning this wine is very approachable and is displaying lots of red berry flavours together with the spicy, savoury and forest floor notes. It’s a complex but elegant Rioja Reserva that never disappoints!
Rioja is one of two wine regions with Spain’s highest qualification level, DOC or DoCa, the other region being Priorat. There is so much Rioja on the UK market and much of it over-priced, overly sweet and over-oaked because that became the trend from the turn of the century. But there is a danger of the DOC qualification being devalued which is why Telmo is rebelling – or going back to basics. I have had the good fortune to meet him a couple of times and he has told me that Rioja should not be a “recipe”, that there is fortunately no longer one style of Rioja as modern winemakers like him focus on the fruit, the ‘terroir’ and more traditional methods. Telmo has been described by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate as “Rioja’s number one Terroirist”.