Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga Tempranillo 2008 (Rioja, Spain)
14.5%, Cork, $60
Source: Wine list
Whilst the modernising of the old world has undoubtedly helped to make for more brighter, cleaner and more affable wines, there is a point where the quest to ‘modernise’ a wine style stops helping it at all.
Witness this Tempranillo (with a little Graciano and Garnacha) as a perfect case in point. The base material is solid – old, bush vine fruit grown biodynamically. Said fruit is hand picked, naturally fermented in big wood and then matured for 14 months in a variety of different sized oak.
Sounds good doesn’t it? This looks good too. Ruby red and not too dark. It smells rich and plush too, all coffee power oak and lots of it. It tastes oaky too, all sweet fruit and sweet oak and more sweet fruit and more sweet oak. All good hey?
Ultimately though, the more you dig, the more glasses you drink, the less interesting this becomes. Firstly, the tannins – they’re missing. This suffers from that annoying modern aversion to real tannins, the finish tapering off into a sweetly oaked heap. The texture, too, is wrong, the oak covering up for a general lack of vibrancy and a sense of desiccation. Terroir? None distinguishable there either, it could be Tempranillo from anywhere. Heck it might not even be Tempranillo on first glance.
A concocted wine, yet one that if we judge it by a modern scale would probably be classed as a good one. Just not my scale.
Score: 16/20 87/100
Would I buy it? No.