The 'Lanzaga' Rioja epitomises the future of Rioja. It combines organic grape growing with low intervention winemaking, focusing on the terroir of this region rather than masking it with oak and a heavy hand. The result is simply gorgeous. A field blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, carefully selected from their organically-farmed estate vineyards.The result is a rich and concentrated expression, brimming with dark forest fruits and a smokey, meaty finish. Luis Gutierrez describes it as a: “combination of elegance and power”.
The 2017 Lanzaga comes from a harvest marked by the killer frost (-5 degrees Celsius) of April 27th and 28th, but the higher-altitude vines from the village of Lanciego escaped the disaster. This is a blend from their 15 to 20 hectares of organically farmed vines, all head-pruned on slopes rich in clay and limestone, mixing red and white soils, places with more sandstone, others with more marl, looking for complexity. It fermented in 6,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in 1,500- and 2,500-liter oak foudres and 225-liter barriques for 14 months. It has great balance and freshness, it's very clean and doesn't show any of the challenges or shortages of the harvest. It's creamy, juicy and medium-bodied, with very fine tannins, a serious wine that changed in 2013-2014 to this complexity and depth. The vines from Lanciego didn't suffer as much as other villages with the frost of 2017.
Rich and flattering but with good structure. Serious, well-built wine.
Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain’s brightest winemaking talents. He established Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez in 1994 to shine a light on notable vineyards throughout Spain planted with native grape varieties. In 1998, while working at his family winery Remelluri in Rioja Alavesa, he started to buy old vineyards around the town of Lanciego. This was the catalyst for Bodega Lanzaga.
The aim is to rediscover the ‘true’ historic taste of Rioja that he believes can only be achieved from the best sites. “We respect the capacity of generations of vine growers who observed these places and recognised their value”. Telmo is a vocal advocate for the potential of Spanish wine, believing it should sit at the table with the best of Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Time spent studying and working in France led him to question Rioja’s reluctance to acknowledging a wine’s origin, vineyard or village, on the label. “Our wines are not made by winemakers, they’re made by grape growers... Once you understand your place, you know how to work.” These are pure terroir wines, representing historical vineyards in the most transparent way possible.