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Wine Review: Bodegas Lan Rioja Riserva 2001

Wine Review: Lan Rioja Riserva ($22)

Spain’s Rioja region underwent a revolution in the last eight years, as gnarly, old-style dinosaurs were replaced by higher-quality, well-rounded reds. Rioja winemakers of the 21st century modernized their equipment and coaxed more fruit and other interesting flavors out of the Tempranillo grape.

This week’s wine is a good showcase of the Rioja revolution. The Bodegas Lan Rioja Riverva 2001 ($22) is aged in oak for a year in new American oak and then spends another two years in the bottle. It’s dominated by Tempranillo (80%), but is also blended with Mazuelo and Garnacha grapes (10% each). The nose is quite tight, but I get some powdered cocoa and a tinge of mint leaf. The wine really opens up on the palette, which strikes a balance of woodsy flavors and ripe fruit. This is a medium-bodied wine, but has great depth of flavor, some well-integrated oak, cinnamon stick, oregano and other exotic spices. It’s rounded out with a pleasingly long finish.

Quaffability Rating: 89

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“Wine Review: Bodegas Lan Rioja Riserva 2001”