Telmo Rodríguez

Rioja (Lantziego)

'El Velado' Single Vineyard 2020


Velado typifies the unique meeting of Atlantic and Mediterranean at el Monte above Lantziego, and was the vineyard which started Telmo and Pablo’s love of and commitment to this pueblo of 600 villagers. Velado is an old, beautiful vineyard: it faces south-west, and while a very cool mountain site, has a relatively warm exposure compared to Estrada, and is a Garnacha-predominant field blend (40- 50%) with Tempranillo and other ancient local varieties, including whites. Planted in the 1930s at 620 metres, on infertile soils with very little moisture retention, it’s a vineyard of 0.92 hectares. A natural yeast fermentation took place in an open oak cask and the wine matured 16 months in large oak.

Utterly brilliant electric garnet to look at. The aromas swirl and flow - spicy purple lashed with pine, the air in a mountain forest, cool earth-scented. The mouthfeel is incredible, delicate, fluid, pure, unfettered. It slows like a river on a back palate beach of horizontal tannin, fans out in a delta, slows but never stops, releases. Perfume recirculates from tannin held in cheeks, on tongue, and radiates to the roof of mouth. It’s not warm, nor garnacha-ey as such, but you can feel the quiet tug of the Mediterranean. All the while, the wine has a brilliance and energy that is pure cold-soil Rioja. It’s Rioja, son, but not as we know it!