Highly fragrant and floral, with dried herbs, violets and caponata-like pepperiness inflecting gamey red fruits. Trademark Mencia smoky meatiness, gentle fruit tannin and a long herb/acid tang finish. Mid-weight, delicious and very stylish wine; best suited to spring/summer/autumn, but fully deserving a year-round listing we feel.
Organic and biodynamic, indigenous plantings – no nursery clones, no chemicals. Long-term mates and now business partners, Telmo Rodriguez and Pablo Eguzkiza have been kicking wine goals together for nearly 30 years.
They started working together in the late 1980s at Telmo’s father’s Rioja property, Remelluri, and went on to become revolutionaries leading the complex post-industrial, organic changes currently playing out in Spain as elsewhere.
By way of a handle, they use Telmo’s name for their project, but are equals in every respect – beginning with intellect and passion. University trained as winemakers, with formative experience working for some of France’s finest (Clape, Chave and co …), Telmo and Pablo are among the most thoughtful (not to mention first) of Spain’s new wave of post-industrial organic producers, deeply committed to authenticity (whatever that may in fact be).
Since the early 90s, they have attempted to move beyond the limits of 20th century practice.
The Compania started in 1992 with a modest Navarra Garnacha. That same year they bought their first parcel of land (in Valdeorras) and set about exploring the various regions which they would attempt to rediscover, re-interpret, re-invent: Cebreros (a non-D.O.), Valdeorras, Rueda, Malaga, Cigales, Alicante, Ribera del Duero, Toro and of course la Rioja.
Initially, they worked on found old vineyards housing the indigenous, ancient genetic identity of Toro, Ribera del Deuro, and others.
Nowadays, they are also doing much new planting, re-asserting the historical match of locally evolved genetic material (often as field blends) to best sites and practices. Of their many beautiful babies, there is no question that la Rioja is first among equals – here is Telmo and Pablo’s spiritual home and greatest commitment.
Their attention to viticultural care is first class (or beyond). In the winery, the entire philosophy is to let the fruit speak – there are no less ‘recipe-oriented’ winemakers.
Low-cropped fruit (typically from old, high altitude bush vines) are made into three quality bands: an un-wooded price-friendly daily drinker of great character and quality, a premium French-oaked wine with significant cellar potential, and a top wine selected from the most elegant and refined material.