2009 Remelluri, Rioja Reserva
2009 Remelluri, Rioja Reserva

2009 Remelluri, Rioja Reserva

Rioja Alavesa, Spain 2009 (750mL)
Regular price$95.00

2009 Remelluri, Rioja Reserva

We love to get boxes of older, mature Rioja direct from Spain, and you all have shown your love for these wines over the years too! But today’s offer is a bit different. Yes, this is pure Rioja Reserva, aged for 24 months in oak barrels and then rested in the bottle for many years in the same cellars where it was born, but, this is a bottle of Remelluri from the iconic Telmo Rodriguez, and as such we are squarely in the modern era. This isn’t our first Remelluri rodeo though, we offered the cool, classic 2008 a year ago, and now we get to present the 2009, one of the very best vintages Rioja has produced so far this century. The expert, meticulous farming, and deft touch in the cellar that are Telmo’s calling cards are on full display in this soaring, profoundly complex Tempranillo. And there’s no need to worry about crumbling corks or overly mature bottles: This is a wine that will be delicious today, in five years, in ten years, and well beyond. The only question is, how much can you fit in your cellar!?!

At Remelluri, Telmo Rodríguez pushes the boundaries of Rioja by working with some of the oldest, highest-elevation vines in the appellation, and leads a movement to refocus the region’s attention away from the cellar and back on the vineyard. His Reserva more than lives up to his grand ambitions, bringing hyper-polished purity and an almost Burgundian sense of terroir transparency. This isn’t Rioja just for those initiated in the unique (often oak-laden) traditions of Spanish wine, but a profoundly elegant masterpiece that anyone interested in the world’s best wine experiences should secure. Rodríguez is producing some of the most exciting, important wines in Rioja right now. And with the generationally great 2009 vintage, you could not ask for a better way to get acquainted with Telmo’s talent.

You might expect a winemaker in a region as storied and bankable as Rioja to rest on their laurels, keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. Not Telmo Rodríguez. When he and his sister Amaia took over the family estate, they immediately made radical changes. They cut production by a third, choosing to use only estate-grown fruit (extremely rare in Rioja, where even the most iconic wines typically contain often significant amounts of purchased grapes). They retrained the vines into traditional bushes, and began interplanting varieties into what had been monovarietal vineyards. They achieved certification for their organic farming. And they turned Remelluri into a meeting place, where they established the group Futuro Viñador (“Future Vineyard”), a gathering of Spanish growers who aim to promote organic viticulture and site-specific wines in their respective regions. 

Of course Remelluri is by no means a new estate. Indeed, viticulture has been practiced where Remelluri stands since the 14th century. It’s planted entirely to the traditional red Rioja varieties—Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo—along with a similarly indigenous slate of white grapes. Remelluri is the leading producer in the Rioja Alavesa subzone, which is home to the region’s most northerly vineyards. Situated in the foothills of the Sierra de Toloño mountains, Rioja Alavesa sees increased rainfall and cooler temperatures thanks to high elevations, meaning the wines here retain more freshness and snap than those from the plain below. More than anything, when tasting Remelluri, one is struck by the lift and elegance on display.

The 2009 Remelluri Reserva is made up of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, and 5% Garnacha. It was handpicked, fermented spontaneously, followed by two years in French and American oak, and bottling in 2011. It opens with a flourish of ripe red fruit and spice, led by dried cranberries, black cherry pit, crushed raspberry, dried roses, sandalwood, leather, tobacco, cedar, coconut husk, cinnamon, and clove. The palate is soft, rounded, totally free of hard edges, yet with a lively chord of acidity that promises further evolution ahead (although there’s no reason to wait, as it is drinking beautifully right now). Though the ripe, rich texture and fruit of 2009 lead the way now, the complex, savory note underneath will continue to emerge with more time in the cellar. The grace on display here, as well as the subdued American oak character in comparison to other producers’ bottlings, is really what sets it apart. In all, it’s a luxurious, wonderfully pure Rioja experience that will continue to reward up to and beyond a decade more in your cellar. Don’t hesitate to go deep!

2009 Remelluri, Rioja Reserva

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