Telmo Rodriguez La Social Partidas de la Granja 2014, DO Rioja, Spain

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. La Social is a new and eminently approachable release from Telmo Rodriguez, made with grapes from trusted auppliers who follow Telmo’s vine growing philosphy as well as small portion of estate grapes. The fruit for La Social is 100% handharvested in the villages of Lanciego de Alava and Labastida, both located in Rioja Alavesa. Unlike modern vineyards in Rioja today, where Tempranillo dominates plantings, many vines are trellised, and other varieties are planted in separate rows, these vineyards are a field blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha, all trained as bush vines – a throwback to the way Rioja vineyards were planted in the past. The wine ferments with wild yeasts in a combination of cement and stainless steel tanks, and aged for 10 months in neutral French oak barrels (mostly 225 liters but also 3,000 liter Foudres). This red has a thick texture that delivers plum, forest floor and mineral flavors, supported by well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity. More savory than fruity, but remains balanced. Drink now through 2025.