Bodegas Lan has a long history here at Winex, mainly for their Edición Limitada and the single-vineyard Culmen Reserva bottlings (in 1994 and 2004) that were benchmarks in our own discovery and appreciation of Spanish wines. We've compared bottles of those wines to Lafite Rothschild with their elegance and pronounced 'lead pencil' elements. We've also introduced a number of people to this Rioja house about a year ago with the 2005 Bodegas Lan Rioja Reserva.
About a month ago, we started receiving numerous requests for the 2005 Bodegas Lan Rioja Gran Reserva after the Los Angeles Times featured the wine in their Wine of the Week section. They listed us as one of the retailers who carried it, but the wine had already sold out through our e-mail offer back in Decemeber. We asked our purveyor about the next shipment and after a few months of waiting, IT'S BACK!
The 2005 Bodegas Lan Rioja Gran Reserva takes it to another level. Made from 80% Tempranillo with 10% each of Mazuelo and Garnacha, this Rioja was aged for 24 months in American and French oak barrels followed by 36 months in the bottle as required by the Consejo Regulador for the Gran Reserva designation. However, you can see that Bodegas Lan went well beyond the requirement since this 2005 is their current release.
The wine exhibits plenty of bright red fruits mixed with herbs and spice. The tannin has softened and the acidity has integrated beautifully with the extra bottle age. This 9-year-old Gran Reserva is very juicy now, but can easily cellar for another decade (or more). The Wine Advocate gave this Gran Reserva 93 points, making this one of the best deals on the market for a Rioja Gran Reserva (especially for under $20!). Our first round sold out in one day, so we grabbed as much as we could on this second round. As you know, however, great deals don't usually stick around for too long. While supplies last.