Bodega Lanzaga - La Estrada 2017
Bodega Lanzaga is a project of Telmo Rodriguez (best known for his family's Rioja estate, Remelluri, which he brought to fame in the early 1990's) and his partner, Pablo Ejuzkiza. Known as Compania de Vinos, Telmo and Pablo's collaboration aims to identify and restore ancient, indigenous varieties in top vineyards throughout Spain. In 1999, they purchased a 17th century Bodega and set about trying to understand how Rioja was made before phylloxera, chemicals and machines. Lanzaga now consists of 19 hectares of organically-farmed vineyards, and Telmo hopes to recreate the vineyards of 150 years ago, where as many as 50 varietals would be co-planted and made into a true field-blend.
LZ (pronounced el-zed) Rioja is a tribute to the village grape growers of the 1920s. Telmo and Pablo love to imagine how they made wine back then; fermenting it with no cultivated yeasts in big, raw cement tanks, pressing it, racking once, then keeping the wine in the same concrete tanks for nine months until the next harvest.
La Estrada is made from a single 0.6 hectare vineyard plated at an altitude of over 630 meters, one of the highest sites in all of Rioja. The old Tempranillo, Graciano and other local bush vines were planted in the 1940's on a pure slope of shallow soil of chalky clay. The wine was fermented with natural yeast in large open oak casks, then aged 15 months in foudre. This Rioja is classical and refined with aromas of red fruits, anise, fennel, herbs and pepper. On the palate, the wine displays great elegance with incredibly fine, round tannins and a delicate acidity. Theres is a stunning purity of energetic red cherry and berry fruit balanced by a wonderful savory streak that leads into a long, refined finish. A mind-bending Rioja.