Rioja is one of the wine world’s great paradoxes: a region associated with blending that concurrently offers a plethora of single-estate wines. Established in 1974, Bodegas LAN is the custodian of a very special climat (vineyard site) known as Vin?a Lanciano.
Encompassing 72 hectares of world-class terroir, the estate is located on the border between Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, flanked by the River Ebro. Vin?a Lanciano’s northern boundary is marked by the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range, which forms a natural protection for the vines against the cooler winds and rain from the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, alluvial and gravel soils force the plants to bury their roots deep in search of nutrients to survive. The net result is slowly-ripened berries of exceptional quality; part of the Vin?a Lanciano estate is organically farmed. By avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, the winery aims to promote soil health and biodiversity while producing grapes that reflect the purest expression of the terroir.
Bodegas LAN has also invested in renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to power its operations. This move towards clean energy not only reduces the winery’s dependence on non-renewable resources, but also minimises carbon emissions, contributing to a more sustainable future.
After careful monitoring of individual plots, the team began picking their Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo red varieties in late summer. Harvested by hand in small 20kg crates, only perfect bunches are selected – the rest are discarded.
Yet vintage 2023 has been described as “exceptionally promising” – spring and early summer were characterised by moderate rainfall, which favours a balanced and healthy vine canopy. Towards the end of the ripening period, there was a warm and dry spell that allowed the grapes to develop concentrated aromas and sugars. Moreover, daily temperature fluctuations, typical of the Rioja region, encouraged balanced acidity and phenolic ripeness.
But even in challenging years, Vin?a Lanciano seldom disappoints. It is an aromatic, expressive and velvety red, with a notably long, complex finish. A wine that reflects the majesty of its site with razor-sharp precision and focus; Vin?a Lanciano is a Rioja for our discerning age.
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