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We've got another great wine from star Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez that's a perfect partner for flavorful fare from the grill! We're excited to be able to offer the 2016 Matallana, his very limited release from North-Central Spain's Ribero del Duero region, and at a great price! The leading variety here is a local type of Tempranillo; it's a heartier version relative to Rioja's usual type, with thicker skins and plenty of color intensity. While Ribera del Duero has had a quieter history relative to Rioja, it's old winemaking country. The vines in this hot and dry inland region lie at relatively high plateaus and hilly areas, anchored by the Duero River. These conditions contribute to making bold, well-structured reds with a distinctive purity of fruit, while remaining capable of an elegance and balancing freshness that other regions can struggle to find.

The talented Telmo Rodriguez seeks to make Matallana in a way that best expresses its place. For him, that began with a selection of local grapes planted as traditional bush-vines on a variety of old sites, which are organically farmed. With that source, his task is to not over-manipulate what nature has provided. The combination of the place, vintage, and Mr. Rodriguez' winemaking style results in what Wine Advocate describes as an "elegant rusticity."

After some time in the glass, the wine exudes aromas of pure boysenberry and plum skin, along with stony earth and dusted cocoa. On the palate, an enticing saline minerality greets you, quickly followed by those intense flavors from the skins and a touch of juiciness. A coating of Tempranillo's signature chalky-textured tannin fleshes out the middle of the wine, grounds it on the finish, and helps clean the palate when paired with hearty meals (try it with a mixed grill including mushrooms & well-seasoned meats, as well as moderately-aged cheeses like Manchego).

WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The Ribera del Duero project has been changing and a work in progress for a while ,and there's only one wine produced, of which this time I tasted the 2016 Matallana. It's a traditional blend of Tempranillo with approximately 15% other grapes—Valenciano (Bobal), Navarro (Garnacha) and white Albillo—from different soils in five different villages, Sotillo de la Ribera, Roa, Fuentecén, Fuentemolinos and Pardilla. It fermented in oak and stainless steel vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 14 months in French oak barrels of different ages. 2016 was also an abundant crop of wines with freshness. It's a traditional red with elegant rusticity and subtle aromas, already gaining some tertiary notes, integrated oak and a medium to full-bodied palate with fine-grained tannins, fine but still identifiable as Ribera del Duero. They have the idea to renovate an old house to make the winery but they are facing bureaucratic problems... "
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