The grapes to produce the Rioja Reserva “Culmen” Bodegas LAN underwent a thorough sorting by bunch and were then destemmed and sorted again by berry to ensure that only pristine fruit made it into the wine. The berries were then lightly crushed and fermented in small, cone-shaped, temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. The wine was then racked from tank into new 225-litre French oak barriques from the Tronçais and Jupille forests where it underwent malolactic fermentation and 25 months ageing. The wine was then aged for a further 22 months in bottle in the Bodegas LAN cellars in Fuenmayor before release.
The Tempranillo and Graciano grapes for the “Culmen”, meaning ‘epitome’, come from ‘Pago El Rincón’, the top parcel within the ‘Viña Lanciano’ vineyard. Viña Lanciano is one of the most spectacular single vineyards in Rioja, surrounded by a bend of the River Ebro. The ‘El Rincón’ plot boasts bush vines of up to 60 years of age, which produce small yields of very concentrated fruit. The vines are planted on poor stony soils on the south-facing slopes of the ‘El Rincón’ mount, at up to 491 metres above sea level. Warm days followed by cool nights ensure an ideally paced ripening and the grapes accumulate great intensity of flavour whilst retaining a balancing natural acidity. All of the grapes are hand harvested and the vineyards are farmed sustainably.
Founded in 1972, Bodegas LAN is situated in the heart of Rioja Alta. Though a relatively young Rioja house, Bodegas LAN has gained a reputation for the excellent quality of its wines. This quality is derived from the grapes they work with, grown in their spectacular Viña Lanciano vineyard and other prime vineyard sites in Rioja Alta and Alavesa, and from winemaker María Barúa’s great attention to detail in the winery. Viña Lanciano is one of largest and most striking single-vineyard sites in Rioja Alta, encircled by a meander of the Ebro river. The vineyard’s poor, stony soils and old vines, up to 60 years of age, are both conducive to low yields of very concentrated fruit. The site is divided into 24 plots of different soils and aspects and these are matched to the different grape varieties: Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo.