El Velado is an old and beautiful vineyard located at a height of 600 meters. It is the first vineyard which captivated Telmo and Pablo in Lanciego and the one that, probably, is the best expression of the beauty and singularity of this place. It was also part of Altos Lanzaga until this first bottling.
This eighty-year-old vineyard is on the most eastern part of Lanciego, facing mostly west and south with good exposure. It is just under a hectare in size (.93ha) with traditional bush vines on chalky clay at 610 meters altitude. El Velado is a field blend of mostly Garnacha and Tempranillo, but other old varieties are also present including some white. Hand picked with wild yeast primary fermentation in open oak casks followed by 15 months aging in 500L French oak.
Soft notes of leather and chocolate on the nose, along with cedar, white pepper and red currant, it's not Garnacha-ey as such but you can feel the quiet insistent tug of the Mediterranean, and the wine has a brilliance and energy that is pure cold-soil Rioja.
Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain's pioneer winemakers, advocating native grape varietals tied to the climates and conditions of their sites, and making world-class wines from undiscovered as well as known regions. Perhaps most impressive, while Telmo Rodriguez makes rare and limited wines of astonishing character and quality, his everyday wines have been equally praised, and widely recognized for the tremendous value they offer. Telmo studied viticulture and oenology at the University of Bordeaux and was the winemaker at his family winery in Rioja, Remelluri, and then set off on his own in the early 1990s to discover new vineyards and regions all around Spain. He now makes a range of wines in diverse viticultural areas of Spain, with an emphasis on the following: Telmo was among the first to make significant wines in Toro, Rueda, Valdeorras, Malaga, Alicante and Cigales. In these areas he uses native varietals, often grapes rediscovered such as Godello, Verdejo, Moscatel and Monastrell which do not have wide recognition. With other classically recognized varietals such Tempranillo, Garnacha and Carignan, he works with vines that are indigenous and reflect the character of their particular site. As a result, Telmo has been one of the leaders of the quality revolution with these varietals in up and coming areas such as Toro, as well as in the traditional areas of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.
Exuberant, ripe raspberries, plums and boysenberries. Super pure, youthful fruit here. The palate is cradled in web-like, fine and crisp tannins threaded with spice and pure, succulent red cherries and raspberries to close. From a more north-west-facing vineyard of just 2.3 acres with a lot of garnacha. Try from 2021.'