Robert Parker 93
"The 2012 Almirez (a 1,000-case cuvée of 100% Tinta de Toro) was aged 14 months in French oak. This sensational wine comes from vines planted between 1949 and 1999. Yields were a conservative 1.8 tons of fruit per acre. An inky/purple color is followed by aromas of camphor, ground pepper, blackberries and cassis. This full-bodied, Northern Rhône Valley-like Spanish red exhibits meaty/lard notes, terrific density and purity, and a finish that lasts nearly 40 seconds. It should drink nicely for a decade or more.
This large estate in Toro is owned by the Eguren family, who also owns the Dominio de Eguren winery. These two value-priced cuvées, primarily fashioned from old vines planted between 1880 and 1999, are from head-pruned vines. They represent impressive quality."
International Wine Cellar 92
"Opaque purple. Smoky blueberry and cherry compote aromas pick up a peppery nuance with air, along with a subtle mocha quality. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, concentrated black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of lavender pastille. Spreads out nicely on the juicy, penetrating finish, which is framed by silky, slow-building tannins."~JR
Wine Spectator 90
"A polished texture conceals the solid structure in this muscular red, which offers currant and blackberry flavors that show notes of espresso and tar. Gamy and savory accents lend this an austere character, but fresh acidity maintains liveliness." Best from 2016 through 2024. 2,000 cases made." ~TM
Teso La Monja AlmirezView all from Teso La Monja Almirez
"Teso La Monja was founded in 2007 by Marcos and Miguel Angel Eguren, the fourth winemaking generation of the Eguren family from San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alavesa. As they have been growing Tempranillo in Rioja Alavesa since the late 1800's, the Eguren family fell in love with D.O. Toro when they first travelled there with Jorge Ordóñez, seduced by the region's original clone of Tempranillo and ungrafted vines.
Jorge Ordóñez and the Eguren family were the original founders of Bodegas Numanthia, which was responsible, along with their current work, for the resurrection of D.O. Toro as one of Spain's preeminent wine regions. After the sale of Numanthia in 2007, the Eguren family founded Teso La Monja as a new challenge for the family – finding the elegance in the wines of Toro.
The family selected vineyards in the northernmost part of D.O. Toro that have a much higher proportion of rounded stones than what is typical. This produces extremely silky, elegant wines. The winemaker, Marcos Eguren, is considered by many to be the finest winemaker in Spain. His son, Eduardo Eguren, the fifth generation, also works as the winemaker at Teso La Monja."