Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga Rioja DOC 2012

Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga Rioja DOC 2012
£26.25 / bottle£299.25 / case (12 bottles)

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Country: Spain
Grape variety: Grenache/ Garnacha
Grape variety: Tempranillo
Wine region: Rioja
Wine style: Smooth Elegant Reds
Wine Type: Red Wines
Wine Type: Vegan Wine
Grape variety: Graciano
Drink: now to 2027
ABV: 14.5%

Tasting Notes

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.

There is now a new wave of winemakers fighting back against the commercial style of Rioja and Telmo Rodriguez is at the forefront; I had the good fortune to meet him in February 2016 and he 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". In this Lanzaga wine Telmo chooses to blend the Tempranillo grape with some Graciano and Garnacha (Grenache); he grows the grapes bio-dynamically on traditional bush vines, hand picks the grapes, uses indigenous yeast and no chemicals. 

This wine is a lovely complex Rioja - a fruity wine with structure, elegance and a minerally freshness - "elegance and power" as describes it. It does need to breathe so decant and swirl in the glass to release the redcurrant, cherry and herbaceous nose with just a hint of oak and of spice. I get the Wine Advocate's description of a previous vintage when they wrote that it had "...aromas that exude Burgundy-like purity".
The flavours evolve as the wine opens up in the glass and include cherries, cranberries, blackcurrants, dark chocolate and spices with a hint of steely graphite and a light smokiness. The body is medium to full but as the wine is not over-oaked and the tannins are not too drying there is a lovely, silky lightness to it. There is a long, luscious finish. Whilst drinking very nicely now, this wine has the body, fruit and tannins to evolve further in the next few years. This is a top class Rioja.

I also have the 2014 vintage of this wine.

Food Pairing

Recommended to drink with game, duck, goose, steak and other red meats, poultry, cheese, charcuterie and paella

Producer's Notes

"Lanzaga is identity. It is the purest expression of our work in Lanciego and the main wine of our project in Rioja. Made only from a selection of the best grapes from some of our 35 plots from our 15 to 20 hectares of organic vineyards, located at an altitude of 500 to 700 meters. Lanzaga brings together all the elements that characterize our way of working: made with grapes from bushvines, from different plots, aged in foudres and in barrels of different sizes and origins, and with a very limited production. The combination of all these elements gives rise to a serious, sophisticated wine with a great aging capacity. Lanzaga is a Rioja wine that has a true sense of place, a rich and complex expression of the village where it has been made."


93 points    Robert Parker    Aug 2016
"The 2012 Lanzaga shows the character of the year, but comes through as fresher and better balanced than the already impressive 2011. This blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano is sourced from their 14 hectares of organically farmed, head-pruned vineyards in the village of Lanciego. It fermented in 6,000-kilo cement vats with indigenous yeasts, and matured in a combination of 1,500- and 2,500-liter foudres and 225-liter barriques for some 14 months. The nose is elegant, subtle and balanced, with ripe fruit without excess and nicely integrated oak. The palate shows nice concentration and power keeping the poise and elegance, with good balance, fine tannins and moderate acidity. Nice combination of elegance and power."

Telmo Rodriguez is one of Master of Wine Tim Atkin's top 10 Rioja producers     Decanter     Mar 2018

Wine Spectator
“Spain is probably the most dynamic wine country in Europe right now, thanks to people like Rodriguez and Eguzkiza and a younger generation that is following their example. They want to prove that Spain is not just a source for value, but a land with incredible terroirs.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
“The current Telmo Rodriguez collection includes wine produced in eight different DOs, all of them fermented with native yeasts. The fact that quality ranges from excellent to outstanding is a tribute to his talent and attention to detail.”

A beautiful, new age Rioja from Telmo Rodriguez, described by Robert Parker as "Rioja's number one terroirist" and by Decanter as one of Rioja's "renegades" - I do love a rebel! Fruit, minerality and a silky smooth texture; this is a really top class wine.

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