Telmo Rodríguez

Rioja (Labastida)

'Las Beatas' Single Vineyard 2020


Las Beatas has extremely cold sandy soil facing north-west. There are eleven grape varieties grown on eight terrace levels, predominantly Tempranillo with 30% Garnacha, some Viura and traces of other rare, unidentified cultivars. The vines are densely planted and hand-worked. Purchased as an abandoned place in 1998, Las Beatas has 0.8 hectares of very old field blend material. The rest are young vines massale-selected from the original genetics of the place. In 2011 a small harvest of the old gear and about 10% of the young plantings yielded 500 bottles; in 2012, 1500 bottles were produced from the old vines plus about 20% of the young vines. Each year since, increasing proportions of young vines bearing the genetic heritage of las Beatas are included in the finished wine. Las Beatas is made and aged in 1200 litre French foudre. One day, this will be known as the Glory of Rioja.

Juniper, sage, black thyme and piney-fennel balsam run through bright, clear, fluid tiny red cherries with a licorice fleck. Herbal ‘dark’ tones are delicate touches, and the caress of cold white dirt gives gentle edge grip. Juicy, spicy and fine with heaps of space, it’s a wine of utmost delicacy. A touch of sweet-and-sour interplay expresses through a ‘click’ of fantastic fruit tannin running low in the mouth, inseparable from an ultra-fine, long thread of natural acid. With a lovely grip-release movement through the palate, it uses all of the mouth without cramming anywhere. Wonderful.