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2008 Pegaso Granito, Castilla y León Telmo Rodriguez
Scores and Reviews
Telmo Rodriguez is one of the greatest of Spanish winemakers. In a fashion not dissimilar to Alavaro Palacios, Telmo travelled and learnt for many years before returning home to Rioja, where he has improved yet further the quality of a wine that was already outstanding. In addition he supervises négociant projects throughout Spain. One of his most acclaimed projects is in Ribera del Duero.
The charismatic Telmo has something of the prodigal about him, having now returned to his Riojan homestead to energise the great house of Remelluri. One should not overlook, however, his other properties, which explore some of the lesser known areas of Spain and in each case seek to make superlative and characterful wines. Ribera del Duero is, of course, far from a lesser-known area, so it is to Telmo’s great credit, but to no–one’s particular surprise, that the wines he makes at Matallana are amongst the very best here too.
Grenache is the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. In the Southern Rhône it provides the backbone for most red blends and is the key component of Châteauneuf du Pape. Some Châteauneufs such as Château Rayas are even made from 100% Grenache. In the Languedoc it plays a key role in many blends and is responsible for much of the Rosé wine from Southern France.
It is the most extensively red wine grape grown in Spain where it is known as Garnacha Tinta - in Rioja it is blended with Tempranillo and is most widely planted in the warm Eastern Rioja Baja region. The very best Garnacha wines come from Priorat in Catalonia, where fruit from old Garnacha bush vines is blended with small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon to produce wines of startling intensity and depth of fruit.
Grenache was once Australia`s most widely planted black grape but much of it was grubbed up in the 70s and early 80s to make room for more fashionable grapes. However plantings have been on the increase since the early 1990s and the best examples are found in the Barossa Valley from dry-farmed, bush-pruned, old Grenache vines.
The autonomous province of Castilla-La Mancha covers a large chunk of central Spain and is bordered by Castilla y León, Madrid, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, and Extremadura! Known mostly as the setting for Cervantes legendary novel Don Quixote, Castilla-La Mancha is the powerhouse of the Spanish wine industry. It produces almost half of Spains vinous output from a range of grape varieties: crisp, clean, easy-drinking whites are made from Albillo, Viura, Parellada, Torrontes, Moscatel, Merseguera, Pardilla, Macabeo (Viura), the local Malvar and the prolific Airén; while pleasant, fruity reds (mostly) and rosados are produced from Tempranillo (locally known as Cencibel), Garnacha Tinta, the local Moravia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Monastrell.
Castilla-La Mancha incorporates a number of DO appellations with varied winemaking traditions and even more varied degrees of quality. They are led by heavyweights La Mancha and Valdepeñas, followed by the lesser-known Almansa, Ribera del Jucar, Mentrida and Manchuela. Since the 1990s, the wine industry here has been revolutionised. It has enjoyed a recent rush of investment, led by the legendary Alejandro Fernández and followed by the Jerez/Sherry behemoths Osborne and González Byass. The result has been a transformation from a source of poor quality, sometimes virtually undrinkable, wines to one where modern-styled, easy-drinking, excellent value-for-money wines are the order of the day.
Castilla-La Mancha is also home to Dominio de Valdepusa and Finca Elez which form two of Spains private wine regions. Vinos de Pago (Denominación de Pago) was a category introduced in 2003 and bestows DO status upon outstanding individual estates, even if they are located outside an existing DO area. Each one is allowed its own rules and regulations.
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