Teso La Monja, Romanico 2014
Reductive initially, but opens to violets, tobacco and mixed fruits. Scratchy tannin needs to resolve a bit. This is a powerful wine, but if you are 'using' it right it is always subtle and elegant. Decanting suggested.
Grape is from 100% thick-skinned Tinta de Toro(very much a Tempranillo clone), a grape with great structure, able to convey the minerality of the soils but with a strong character that needs understanding and “taming”. Teso La Monja possesses more than 100 hectares of vineyards, planted with free-standing, indigenous bush vines have been in existence for over 130 year. Soil is clay, with limestone seams in the subsoil and an abundance of gravel on the surface, and face northwards(hence still with lots of potential elegance), with very long vegetative cycles(hence the potential complexity).
The low-yielding, Goblet-trained bush vines are harvest by hand and go through a rigorous selection at the sorting table. After eight days of temperature controlled fermentation, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in 100% new French oak barrels(!!). It is then aged for six months in new French oak.
You have to come to this wine;this wine won’t come to you. Classic meat dishes and jambons help much to tame this beast to turn into lovely big poodles and Golden Retrievers(if you are dog lovers as well).
Critical Acclaim includes RP92 from The Wine Advocate as follows:
"The 2014 Romanico is the better value of the two, with fabulous, dense blackberry and cassis fruit, with licorice, camphor and forest floor. It is dense, full-bodied, opulent, and a dazzling example of a wine made from modest yields of 31 hectoliters per hectare from their younger and middle-aged vineyards. It is 100% Tinto de Toro and their largest production cuvée. It is a sensational buy at $17.00, tasting more like a wine that costs three times that price. "