Tabuérniga is the name of a place in the village of Labastida, not far from Remelluri, where they have 4.5 hectares of vineyards in the shape of an amphitheater from which they select 2.7 hectares that go into the 2014 Tabuerniga. They managed to rent and finally purchase it and have been working to improve the viticulture. They vinified 2012 and 2013, but this 2014 is the first wine they liked enough to release. It's mainly Tempranillo with some Graciano, Mazuelo (Cariñena) and other varieties (up to ten different ones), from organically farmed terraces at 540 to 630 meters in altitude on deep limestone and clay soils. It fermented in open-top, 3,000- and 4,000-kilogram oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in 1,500-liter oak foudres for 14 months. This is closer in style to Las Beatas than the La Estrada or El Velado. Tabuerniga is elegant and all about finesse, with incredible balance. The palate, while also having that elegance, has the juiciness and weight of the old-time Riojas. The nose does not stop changing and developing more nuances, flowers and aromatic herbs, even if it's not as expressive as Las Beatas. This is really a superb debut. I think this is going to be a very important wine in the Telmo Rodríguez portfolio, maybe even challenging Las Beatas!
96 points, Luis Gutierrez (March 2018)
Dried cherries and flowers with so much perfume on the nose. Full to medium body, very fine and focused with a fabulous purity and length. Firm and silky tannins. Fantastic finish. Needs two or three years to soften. Glorious.
97 points, James Suckling (January 2018)
RiojaThe largest and most famous region in Spain covers an area of over 63,000 ha. Sheltered by three mountain ranges, Rioja is fairly dry with an average annual rainfall of just 530 mm. The climate of the region varies from cooler wetter, elevated areas of the northern Rioja Alavesa, to the warm and dry areas of the Rioja Alta to the hot continental Rioja Baja on its south-eastern side. Rioja is famous for its red wine styles which are usually a Tempranillo dominant blend with portions of Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena. Rioja has a hierarchy of quality based on the maturation and ageing of its wines. Joven styles are generally fruit-forward unoaked styles made to drink young, while oak maturation is used for Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva styles. Traditionally American oak is used in the region, although the use of French oak barriques is on the rise. The finest Tempranillo grapes are grown on the chalky soils of the Alavesa sub-region offering elegance, perfume and acidity for the Reserva and Gran Reserva styles while the Rioja Alta and Baja produces the majority of fruit that provide the body and spicy ripe fruit characters. Attractive white Rioja wines made from Viura, Garnacha Blanca and Chardonnay, are also produced in both modern unoaked and more traditional oaked styles.