Luis Cañas, Rioja Reserva, Spain, 2014
This wine has all the richness one might expect from 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano aged for 18 months in French and American Oak. Subtle spice and generous sweet dark fruit dance in the mouth with underlaying balsamic and toasty tones. The polished tannins are mellow and smooth. It’s really got a lot to offer every palate and a variety of dishes from red meat to soft cheese.
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. Today, now in his late 80’s, Luis still leads the annual harvest, standing at the head of the selection table, keen to ensure that only the best parcels of grapes are used in his wines. His son, Juan Luis Cañas is now the powerhouse behind this highly accomplished winery, but everywhere you go there is a feeling of family, and especially of the lasting legacy that Luis Cañas will leave for both his son and the Alavesa.
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