Bodegas Luis Cañas, Rioja Gran Reserva, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 2016
In 1970 Luis Cañas changed two hundred years of tradition and became the first winemaker in Rioja Alavesa to bottle his young wine rather than sell it as bulk.
This bold move, and his continued pioneering spirit, has cemented the winery's enviable reputation as one of the most progressive in the region. Sheltered below the watchful Sierra Cantabria, the vineyards are all old, small plots on chalky-clay soils with a dedicated team of vineyard workers carrying out organic practices and a purpose built, fully equipped accommodation block was built for the entire vineyard team in 2006.
With 350 hectares of outstanding vineyards, split across 870 different plots, the viticultural department control every aspect. Each of the plots has its own personality and is categorised and used for different wines according to its characteristics. The grapes which are destined for Gran Reserva are from a selection of old vines of an average of 50 years old.
Upon entering the Bodega, the bunches are carefully selected before being de-stemmed so the individual berries can be sorted based on their weight and following a double selection process. They later undergo fermentation and maceration in stainless steel deposits for 8 days obtaining better colour extraction as well as much more complex and tannic wines, suitable for prolonged ageing. The result is a wine that portrays the essence of a classic Rioja. After its primary fermentation, the wine is placed in barrels where it undergoes malolactic fermentation and is aged for a total of 24 months in French and American oak barrels. It is then bottled and aged for another 36 months
Type: 70% New French Oak, 30% New American oak
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
Ruby red with earthy colour notes. Elegant and complex in the nose with a good concentration of black fruit, thyme and rosemary with secondary aromas of leather and tobacco leaves. It is polished and rounded, making it pleasant and easy to drink. Fleshy with both elegance and power. It has touches of black fruit jam and liquorice warm, with a long, delicious and persistent finish.
Enjoy with the classic Riojan dish of lamb chops, chorizo and potato stew, or any meat dish.
Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 92 Points
Like the bodega's Reserva, this Gran Reserva is a cuvée of Tempranillo and 5% Graciano, with maturation in mostly French and 30% American oak barrels. Using grapes from two parcels in Villabuena de Álava-Carraelciego and Carracastellano-this is savoury and sweet, with notes of red berry fruit, toast, tobacco leaf, leather and forest floor. 2024-30. 92 Points, TA, 2023.
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 91 Points