Red wine, Spain, Tempranillo, Toro

Almirez 2007

Winemaker: Marcos Eguren
Grape: 100% Tinta de Toro
Region: D.O.Toro, Spain

Recently reviewed: Wine Enthusiast 92 points
Wine Advocate 91 points

See other wines from this winemaker:
Bodegas Teso la Monja Victorino, Toro
Bodegas Teso la Monja Alabaster, Toro
Senorio San Vicente, Rioja

When one of my most admired Rioja’s winemakers Marcos Eguren sold his successful project Numanthia-Termes S.L. in Toro (some of the highest rated Spanish wine in history), I knew he wasn’t done with Toro just yet. It had way too much potential and so unique terroir, perfect for growing Tinta de Toro (a local clone of Tempranillo) not to challenge somebody like Marcos.And sure enough, just a few years later, he releases his first 2007 vintage of his new Toro project – Bodegas Teso la Monja. I was honored to taste their wines (Almirez, Victorino and Alabaster) for the first time with Marcos’s son, Eduardo.

The vineyards that family Eguren purchased for Teso la Monja project are located at average altitude of 2,296ft above the sea level, in the small village of Valdefinjas, in Zamora province. So close to his previous Numanthia – Termes vineyards, that it must make new owners of Numanthia very nervous.

Thanks to sandy soils of Toro, the growth of phylloxera that devastated so many wine-growing regions throughout the world, didn’t stand much chance here. Therefore Marcos is able to cultivate 30 year old, ungrafted Tinta de Toro vines with yields about 200 gallons per acre.

The grapes for Almirez were harvested by hand (only perfectly mature clusters are picked), brought to the winery to sorting tables where an additional selection was made. Wine was than fermented for 8 days (temperature controlled) and underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel.

Almirez aged 12 months in new Bordelaise barrels of French oak. 2007 is the first vintage of this wine. Eduardo Eguren told me that this is a first wine project that he is personally committed to (obviously, with Marcos’s hands on approach and TLC). So, Eguren family could be proud of yet another generation of passionate ‘vino entusiasta’. Very proud!

Tasting notes:
A great aroma of black berries, cocoa, even espresso and dark ruby color. When you take a first sniff, it promises a big, rich, muscular red. And it is exactly that! Rich and spicy dark fruit, dried plum with a slight cocoa dust so typical for Toro. Generous, silky tannins will cover your glass, but the wine is perfectly balanced.

Almirez is a modern, macho wine that is approachable right now, but it will improve with a few years in the bottle. The new oak on the long finish is pleasant and not overpowering the beauty and richness of the Tinta de Toro from this vineyard. Superb quality that definitely over delivers at this price.


Dry
– Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: around $ 29.00

Ideal food pairing:
Steak, grilled meats, beef stew, aged cheeses

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