Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain's cutting-edge winemakers, exploiting forgotten native varietals specific to lesser-known regions and climates. Telmo trained at the University of Bordeaux and was the winemaker at his family winery, Remelluri in Rioja, before starting his winery. Telmo's vineyards are almost exclusively biodynamically farmed, and the vines are trained in the traditional bush method on sites with an exceptional and unique terroir. At the top of the list is Telmos flagship wine, the Pago La Jara, which comes from Toro located on Madrid's high plain northwest in the 90s. Pago la Jara is made entirely from the grape Tinto de Toro which is the local clone for Tempranillo. Telmo was one of the first to revitalize these 50-year-old bush-trained vineyards planted on unique red soils in Toro, making one of the region's best versions. The grapes are source from 5 different plots totaling 10 acres from families that have worked with Telmo for 30 years. Fermentation is done with wild yeast in oak vats with a small percentage of whole clusters used and ages in new and old oak and 1500 liter foudre for 18 months. Pago la Jara is both powerful and elegant with incredible minerality, depth, and precision. We were able to get an exceptional price on this bottle that usually goes for $75+. The 2011 is also a back vintage release that has aged beautifully and is in a great spot to drink now. The 2011 Pago la Jara is an excellent value for the old world wine lover, Spanish wines, producers like Lopez Heredia, or someone looking for a bottle with age.
Wine Advocate (Luis Gutierrez) 94 points! "2011 was a very good year in Toro, and the powerful 2011 G Pago la Jara is pure Tempranillo from five small plots of old vines totaling four hectares. It fermented in 3,000-liter oak vats with indigenous yeasts, though needed an élevage of 18 months in a combination of French barriques and 1,500-liter oak foudres to come into balance. The 2011 is very powerful, balanced, mineral, earthy and ripe -- but not overripe; it is spicy, telluric, a little mysterious and not showing the heat of the vintage. The medium-bodied palate is not as concentrated as you would expect, and the power is not provided by sheer concentration but by a strong minerality, making it very earthy. It has good balance, good acidity and fine, sophisticated tannins without the rusticity so often found in Toro. It slowly opens up in the glass with certain elegance, good depth and complexity, and it feels fresher with time in the glass. This should age with style. An elegant bull! Olé! 4,400 bottles were filled in July 2013."