Miguel and Marcos Eguren collect the awards won by ‘La Nieta 2013’ and ‘Teso La Monja 2009’ at a new edition of the ‘League of 99’ Awards from Gourmets.
The Eguren brothers collected the League of 99 awards for ‘La Nieta 2013’ and ‘Teso La Monja 2009’. The award distinguishes Spanish wines awarded 99 points out of 100 in the ‘Guía Gourmets (Gourmets Guide) 2016’. The presentation of the award, which other Spanish wines also won, took place at the Salón Gourmets fair.
‘La Nieta’ comes from the small, 1.75 hectare vineyard by that name, which was planted in the Rioja Alavesa region in 1975. The soil is of a silty-clay-loam texture with the parent rock at the surface. About 30 per cent of the vineyard lies on the rock itself. The estate is manually harvested and the grapes are then individually stemmed in the search for perfect fruits for the delicate process of producing the wine, which includes traditional treading.
“The difference between an excellent wine and a unique one may be small but there is no doubt that it is marked by the plot of land, the climatology and the care for quality at the point of origin – those nuances that make a wine seductive”, says Marcos Eguren, who is both viticulturist and oenologist.
Another of the winning wines was ‘Teso La Monja 2009’, a wine that has become an oenological benchmark. With an exclusive production of 837 bottles, Teso La Monja, a single varietal Tinta de Toro, comes from a vineyard with discreet limestone veins and a limestone level of around 8-10 per cent, slightly above that of the area, “which gives the wine an uncommon distinction and elegance”, says the oenologist.
Harvesting is carried out using boxes, and grape-by-grape stemming and selection are carried out on the same day. Production includes pre-fermentation cold maceration – to extract the color and aromatic compounds – without pressing. Once fermentation has commenced in an open wooden winepress, the manual pressing of the uppermost 25-50 cm. of grapes is begun. That enables the pressing of between 35 and 45 per cent of all the grapes in a process that is carried out for an hour and a half, three times a day. Ageing is achieved through gravity, without the use of machinery.
Malolactic fermentation takes places over a prolonged period of time – between five and six months – in a special wooden vat with a highly unusual but ideal shape, which helps to promote the biorhythms of the wine and contributes to the achievement of a silkier, more integrated and elegant wine. The ageing is completed in three Bordeaux barrels made of medium-toasted, fine-grained new French oak, for a minimum period of 24 months.
The oenological mark of Marcos Eguren, reinforced by the business vision of his brother Miguel, has helped shape the direction of the Toro DO, initially with the Numanthia Termes winery – acquired by the Möett Hennessy group in 2008 – and now with the Teso La Monja winery.
Through their work in the Toro region, working with old, north-facing pre-phylloxera vineyards on sandy soils with gravel surfaces, the Eguren family has succeeded in making Toro wines synonymous with elegance.