Luis Canas Rioja Reserva
Made From: Tempranillo, Graciano
Tastes Like: Dark Cherry, Coffee, Spice
Bodegas Luis Cañas is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja’s premium Rioja Alavesa subzone, but famed wine critic has Tim Atkin has also described it as one of the most modern. The eponymous Luis Cañas, who was an active winemaker until his death in 2019 at 91, took over from his father and became the first Rioja Alavesa winemaker to sell his young, unoaked wine in bottles instead of bulk via mule and cart. They now handpick their grapes to ensure quality, but in another first, Luis Cañas was the first Spanish winery to undertake a second selection by weight to pick the best grapes for their premium bottlings. They focus on organic, sustainable production from old, sometimes ancient grapevines – while many are between 30 and 80 years old, some vines are supercentenarians.
This classic Rioja Reserva was aged in 70% French oak and 30% American oak for 18 months, and then another 18 months in the bottle. It offers gorgeous structure, leathery tannins, and a long, pleasant finish of dark cherry, coffee, and spices.