Bodegas LAN, `Viña Lanciano` Rioja Reserva
Founded in 1972, Bodegas LAN lies in the heart of Rioja Alta and boasts one of the most spectacular single-vineyard sites in the region: Viña Lanciano. The name LAN comes from the initials of the three provinces of the Rioja Designation of Origin: Logroño, Álava and Navarra. María Barúa 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’.
Viña Lanciano lies on a meander of the Ebro river where Rioja Alta meets Rioja Alavesa. The 72 hectares of south-facing vineyard are sustainably farmed and the vines are mostly gobelet trained with an average age of 35 years. There is a unique microclimate here thanks to the proximity of the river, which aids air circulation and helps to avoid the risk of frosts. Soils are mainly alluvial with a mixture of sand, stones and pebbles allowing for excellent drainage.
The 2015 vintage began with a rainy winter, which replenished water reserves in the soil to sustain the vines during the dry growing cycle that followed. Warm and dry conditions in spring facilitated a problem-free bud burst, flowering and fruit set. The beginning of the summer was hot, but milder temperatures arrived in the second half of August, which provided perfect conditions for the grapes to go through the final stages of ripening and the grapes harvested were of excellent quality.
Upon arrival at the winery, the hand harvested grapes underwent a double sorting process, first by bunch, then by berry. Fermentation took place in small stainless-steel tanks, with daily pump overs and a long post-fermentation maceration, to round out the tannins. Malolactic fermentation took place in small 225 litre French oak barriques sourced from the Tronçais forests. After fermentation, the wine spent 14 months in French Tronçais oak, 8 months in Russian oak, and then a further 20 months in bottle before release.
This wine is bright crimson in colour with purple hues. Elegant aromas of ripe red and black fruits, liquorice and sweet spice are combined with the signature minerality of wines from the Viña Lanciano estate, a smokiness from the oak and earthy, leathery aromas from the bottle age.The palate is silky and elegant, showcasing ripe fruits and finely integrated tannins. This is a remarkable wine from Rioja which boasts a characteristic elegance and finesse.