Altos Lanzaga 2010 Telmo Rodriguez
The 2010 Altos de Lanzaga is sourced from four different vineyards that they feel show the character of Lanciego, their idea of a grand cru. Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano from head-pruned, 70-year-old vines worked following biodynamic principles that ferment naturally – no external yeasts are added to any of their wines – in 3,000-kilo oak vats for 20 days and aged for 18 months in 1,500-liter oak foudres and 225-liter barriques. The wine ages very slowly, in a very cold cellar, so it might take a year to carry out malolactic (the temperature in the cave is 12-14º C all year around). It’s a deep, austere, mineral-driven wine with a complex nose with subtle aromas of soil, fresh red and black fruit notes and a whiff of spices in very good balance. In the palate it is very tight, fine, long with silky tannins, somehow closed. Fruit, fermentation and wood seem to play a secondary role in the wine that speaks mainly of the place. This might not be a wine for everybody, but I think it’s super!
Winespectator / James Suckling (95)
JS Ripe fruit aromas with dried strawberry and peaches, even hints of pears. Full-bodied, layered and beautiful. Very silky tannins. Long, long finish. Wonderful texture. The highest section of a single vineyard close to the village of Lanziego in the Rioja Alavesa.?
Dark crimson. Smoky/mineral/graphite first impression, perhaps even a light note of vanilla sweetness and plenty of dark-red and black fruit, maybe also a dried-cherry sweetness. Intense and complex combination of savoury, dark and sweet on the palate, with maybe just a little oak spice. Every component flavour is subtle. Dry, almost chalky, dense but incredibly fine texture. Still young and not yet at its most expressive. So dry and yet still supple. Makes the Lanzaga seem fruity by comparison. One of the most beautiful wines I have tasted in a long time.?