2019 Bodega Lanzaga "LZ" Rioja, Spain (750ml)

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Rioja was the first Spanish wine region to obtain DO status, equivalent to the French Appellation Controlée, in 1925. In 1991, it was promoted to DOC a (Qualified Designation of Origin), a higher category reserved for wines maintaining a proven consistency and quality over a long period of time. Rioja has three distinct subregions (Alavesa, Alta & Baja) as well as stylistic diversity ranging from the traditional wines aged for many years in American oak, to the full throttle modern style.

Telmo Rodríguez and his partner and friend Pablo Eguzkiza set up Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez in 1994. The project identified old vineyards throughout Spain planted with native grape varieties that they felt had unrealized potential. In 1998, while working at Telmo's family winery Remelluri in Rioja Alavesa, they started to buy old vineyard sites around the town of Lanciego. That was the catalyst for Bodega Lanzaga. Their aim— to rediscover the ‘true’ historic taste of Rioja—which they believe can only be achieved from the best sites.

A vocal advocate for Spanish wine, Telmo believes it should share a table with the best of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Time spent studying and working in France led him to question Rioja’s reluctance to acknowledge 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.”

The LZ is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano & Garnacha from certified organic bush vines in the cool Lanciego zone within Rioja Alavesa. Six vineyards are included in the cuvée, Campoluengo, Las Rozas, Castillejo, El Romeral, Agozaderas and El Plano.The grapes were hand-picked and fermented with wild yeast. Primary and malolactic fermentation were in concrete tank, followed by an additional 6 months’ aging—also in concrete.

Rich aromatics of black and blue fruits, with a hint of baking spice. Elegant palate showing blackberry, macerated cherry, a touch of violet and fine, powdery tannins on the lengthy finish.

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