Bodegas LAN, Culmen Rioja Reserva 2011

Regular price £62.50
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  • Type:


  • Country:


  • Region:


  • Area:

    Rioja Alta

  • ABV:


  • Grape:


  • Grape Blend:

    Tempranillo 85%, Graciano 15%

  • Vegan:


  • Organic:


  • Winemaker:

    Maria Barua

  • Bottle Size:


Bodegas LAN Culmen Rioja Reserva 2011 - Wine

Tasting Notes

This wine has an intense and bright cherry-red colour. Elegant and layered on the nose, with a bouquet that combines ripe-red fruit, blackberries, pastry as well as fennel and liquorice notes. Smoked wood, nutmeg and cinnamon spices from oak ageing add complexity to the wine. Its deep earthy and mineral notes are characteristic of all the wines made from grapes sourced from the Vina Lanciano estate. This wine is structured, powerful and full bodied with a long and persistent finish.

Production Notes

The grapes were hand harvested from 40 to 60-year-old vines from a single vineyard (pago) called El Rincon on the Vina Lanciano estate. This is one of the most spectacular vineyards in the Rioja Alta region, located on a bend of the River Ebro. Protected from the winds and cold weather by the Sierra Cantabria mountain range and its proximity to the river, the vines enjoy stony, poor soils, which are conducive to low yields, while lower temperatures ensure an enhanced aromatic dimension to the wines. The grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed, then fermented in small temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at warm temperatures to obtain maximum aromatic extraction. Malolactic fermentation took place in new 225 litre French oak barriques from the Troncaise and Jupille forests. 24 months in new French oak barrels from the Troncaise and Allier forests was followed by 20 months of rounding in the bottle in Bodegas LAN's cool and humid cellar in Fuenmayor.

Critics Reviews

Wine Advocate 91pts (2010) - The bottle of the 2010 Culmen Reserva looks and weighs like a magnum, but its 750ml. It's a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Graciano, showing some surprising herbal aromas in an Atlantic way, mixed with ripe black fruit, plenty of incense, cigar ash, and cedar wood aromas giving it a modern/classical profile with a Mediterranean/Atlantic feeling. The palate is medium to full-bodied with quite a lot of acidity and fine-grained, slightly astringent tannins that might require time in bottle to integrate.

Producer Profile

Founded in 1972, Bodegas LAN lies in the heart of Rioja Alta. The name LAN comes from the initials of the three provinces of the Rioja Designation of Origin: Logrono, Alava and Navarra. Maria Barua has been the head winemaker and technical director since 2002, and brings both scientific expertise (with an academic background in chemistry in addition to her oenology degree) and local knowledge (having been born and raised in Rioja). Together with her young and energetic team, Maria focuses on using the latest advances in winemaking to ‘express the virtues of the land’. The estate farms its Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano and Garnacha vineyards sustainably. The Vina Lanciano vineyard is one of the most spectacular vineyards in the region, located on a bend of the River Ebro. The vineyard’s poor, stony soils and the average vine age of 60 years are both conducive to low yields. The vines are divided into 24 plots of different soils, grape varieties and aspects so that each can be hand-picked at perfect ripeness. In the winery, there is a rigorous selection process to ensure that only perfect bunches are used. Bodegas LAN also painstakingly select and test their oak barrels and have even pioneered a hybrid barrel - American staves with French oak heads - which they feel imparts the best characteristics of both types of oak on a wine. The ‘A Mano Edición Limitada’ is sourced solely from 35 to 40-year-old vines planted in a single plot within the Vina Lanciano vineyard called ‘El Rincon’. Aged for seven months in new French oak barriques, the wine spends a further six months in new Russian oak barrels to give it a subtle spiciness. The ‘Culmen’ (meaning ‘epitome’) is made from Bodegas LAN’s finest grapes, sourced from 45 to 60-year-old vines grown in ‘El Rincón’. This hugely concentrated wine is aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels, followed by a further 20 months in bottle. Powerful yet fleshy, it shows ripe red fruits and blackberries, with hints of balsamic, woodsmoke and spice. A new addition to our list this year is LAN’s ‘Xtreme Ecológico’, which is a 100% Tempranillo, sourced from a small organically farmed five-hectare plot within the Vina Lanciano vineyard. Fermentation with native yeasts, is followed by 14 months ageing in new French oak. The wine boasts aromas of cranberries, ripe red cherries, prune and apricots, married perfectly with spicy notes of cinnamon, vanilla and cedar from the oak.