The Almirez is made by brothers Marcos and Miguel Eguren, who made their reputation by crafting the great, acclaimed Numanthia wines. They sold Numanthia to the LVMH (Moët-Hennessy) conglomerate and left to build their Bodegas Teso la Monja estate, which produces, in effect, Numanthia-styled wines at a fraction of the price. The Wine Advocate raves,
“for this writer, the Almirez offers pretty much unbeatable value for money.” Robert Parker goes on to praise, “At this quality level, one would expect the price to be three digits or more.”
As I taste this wine while I write, I note its impressive dark color and alluring aromas of smoke, cassis, vanilla, black pepper spice and a hint of anise. On the palate, it’s a “wow” with powerful cherry and blueberry fruit, balanced by fine acidity which gives a lift to that fruit. All this is framed by fine-grained smooth tannins. The long finish comes with just hints of black pepper and toast.
Grab this bargain while we have it!
2011 Bodegas Teso la Monja Almirez $22.99/bottle or $20.69/bottle by the case
“Another great value is the 2011 Almirez, which comes from old, ungrafted, head-pruned Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) vines. The vineyards are planted at 2,300 foot elevation, and the yields in 2011 were 18 hectoliters per hectare. The wine spent 12 months in 30% new French oak. A fabulous effort, it could easily pass for a big, rich Chateauneuf du Pape, even though there is not a touch of Grenache to be found in it. Its dense purple color is accompanied by notes of charcoal, barbecued meat, blackberries, cassis, licorice, camphor and spring flowers. Boasting massive concentration, a full-bodied mouthfeel and lavish extract, all concealing of its French oak aging, this rich, full 2011 possesses velvety tannins as well as a finish that lasts nearly 40 seconds. At this quality level, one would expect the price to be three digits or more. Enjoy it over the next 10 years.”
94 points, Robert Parker The Wine advocate