Known simply as Lanzaga to its fans, Bodega Lanzaga ‘Lanzaga’ Rioja used to be labelled as Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga Rioja. It hasn’t changed substance desipite the change in name – it remains a more elegant style of Rioja that is gaining in popularity as people shun the more commercial style. Telmo is still very much involved; he was named as one of Tim Atkin’s top 10 Rioja Producers in Decanter magazine and rightly so. I think this is my favourite of all his wines. The grapes for this blend of 85% Tempranillo with 10% Garnacha or Grenache and 5% Graciano are grown organically (certified) and bio-dynamically on traditional bush vines and hand-picked before being produced into wine as naturally as possible and without commercially produced yeast or chemicals.
As ever and despite a difficult vintage, Lanzaga Rioja 2017 is lovely and complex, a fruity wine with structure, elegance and a minerally freshness. It will release its aromas and flavours more readily if decanted or swirled in the glass. Bodega Lanzaga ‘Lanzaga’ Rioja is a light to medium-bodied wine but a serious style of Rioja with redcurrants, cherries, blackberries with chocolate and spice and a hint of oak. It has a long, silky finish. Whilst drinking nicely now, this wine has the body, fruit and tannins to evolve further in the next few years.
How to enjoy this wine
Recommended to drink with game, duck, goose, steak and other red meats, poultry, cheese, charcuterie and paella
Serve at: 16 – 18°C
“Lanzaga is … the purest expression of our work in Lanciego and the main wine of our project in Rioja. Made only from a selection of the best grapes from … our 15 to 20 hectares of organic vineyards … with a very limited production. Lanzaga is a Rioja wine that has a true sense of place, a rich and complex expression of the village where it has been made. Expressive and complex on the nose with flowers, berries, cured meat, spices and minerals. Fresh and elegant on the palate with refined tannins.”
94 points – Robert Parker – Aug 2021
“The 2017 Lanzaga comes from a harvest marked by the killer frost (-5 degrees Celsius) of April 27th and 28th, but the higher-altitude vines from the village of Lanciego escaped the disaster. This is a blend from their 15 to 20 hectares of organically farmed vines, all head-pruned on slopes rich in clay and limestone, mixing red and white soils, places with more sandstone, others with more marl, looking for complexity. It fermented in 6,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in 1,500- and 2,500-liter oak foudres and 225-liter barriques for 14 months. It has great balance and freshness, it’s very clean and doesn’t show any of the challenges or shortages of the harvest. It’s creamy, juicy and medium-bodied, with very fine tannins, a serious wine that changed in 2013-2014 to this complexity and depth. The vines from Lanciego didn’t suffer as much as other villages with the frost of 2017.”
Telmo Rodriguez is one of Master of Wine Tim Atkin’s top 10 Rioja producers Decanter – Mar 2018
“Spain is probably the most dynamic wine country in Europe right now, thanks to people like Rodriguez and Eguzkiza and a younger generation that is following their example. They want to prove that Spain is not just a source for value, but a land with incredible terroirs.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The current Telmo Rodriguez collection includes wine produced in eight different DOs, all of them fermented with native yeasts. The fact that quality ranges from excellent to outstanding is a tribute to his talent and attention to detail.”