Bodegas Lan Rioja Gran Reserva 2015
Deep garnet red with a ruby rim. On the nose, notes of very ripe fruit - plum, figs and fruit compote - stand out. All enveloped in notes of vanilla, caramel, black pepper and smoke. A well-structured wine, with ripe, sweet tannins on the palate. It has a long life ahead of it.
Founded in 1972, Bodegas LAN lies in the heart of Rioja Alta. The name LAN comes from the initials of the three provinces of the Rioja Designation of Origin: Logroño, Álava and Navarra. María Barua has been the head winemaker and technical director since 2002, and brings both scientific expertise (with an academic background in chemistry in addition to her oenology degree) and local knowledge (having been born and raised in Rioja). Together with her young and energetic team, María focuses on using the latest advances in winemaking to ‘express the virtues of the land’.
The estate farms its Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano and Garnacha vineyards sustainably. The Viña Lanciano vineyard is one of the most spectacular vineyards in the region, located on a bend of the River Ebro. The vineyard’s poor, stony soils and the average vine age of 60 years are both conducive to low yields. The vines are divided into 24 plots of different soils, grape varieties and aspects so that each can be hand-picked at perfect ripeness. In the winery, there is a rigorous selection process to ensure that only perfect bunches are used. Bodegas LAN also painstakingly select and test their oak barrels and have even pioneered a hybrid barrel - American staves with French oak heads - which they feel imparts the best characteristics of both types of oak on a wine.
Hailed as the star red variety in Spain’s most celebrated wine region, Tempranillo from Rioja, or simply labeled, “Rioja,” produces elegant wines with complex notes of red and black fruit, crushed rock, leather, toast and tobacco, whose best examples are fully capable of decades of improvement in the cellar.
Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.