1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja SKU #1112152


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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine, and barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. This is an amazing value for aged, quality Gran Reserva Rioja. All estate fruit, hand harvested, and carefully vinified with native yeasts, this is a hand sewn wine with the purity, texture and elegance to prove it. Having spent 38 months in barrel and many more months in bottle, this Gran Reserva smells of ripe red fruit and chewy, dried fruits as well, with a subtle hint of tobacco. On the palate, the red fruits show great development, with lots of chalky minerality and the elegance of a middle aged Gran Reserva. A perfect blend of rusticity and elegance--so typical of old school Rioja-- is clearly shown in this lovely wine (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese wine buyer)

Staff Reviews

  • Dave Genevro
    By: Dave Genevro
    K&L Staff Member
    This wine is simply gorgeous! Great snappy fruit with cranberries and cherries, spices that translates to great persistence and length in the follow through for such an aged Rioja. Oh, and the well seasoned tannin structure is what you can only get with time in the bottle. The perfect holiday wine.
  • Mahon McGrath
    By: Mahon McGrath
    K&L Staff Member
    Powerful, yet without any avoirdupois, this is a terrific example of a Gran Riserva Rioja at a very reasonable price. While the fruit is softened and transformed by virtue of the lengthy barrel & bottle aging, it still has integrity and is identifiable as such, taking its place along with the leathery-earthy-spicy aspects, rather than being subsumed within them. For those of you who like aged wine, but lack the patience or the space to mature bottles yourself, this is easily one of our best bets, and bears consideration alongside our older, direct buy Bordeaux.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a fabulous, classic, old school Rioja. I opened it last night to enjoy on it's own and the intensity of the dark cherry fruit after 17 years was incredible. It really has a lovely primary fruit that blends seamlessly into the more developed flavor profile of leather, spice, and tobacco. The American oak has also integrated beautifully. This is an exceptionally graceful example of aged Rioja, and without breaking the bank too! It is so good now, but will certainly reward continued patience and cellaring as well.
  • Randy Hagerman
    By: Randy Hagerman
    K&L Staff Member
    If you're looking for a Rioja with some age on it, you won't do much better than this bottle for the price. The earthy, dark fruit profile makes this a big, rich wine. That being said, the acidity and long finish make it distinctly Spanish. Fantastic wine!
  • Diana Turk
    By: Diana Turk
    K&L Staff Member
    Classic Rioja and so much age for the price. Inky and interesting with a casky elegance, Lesmos shows dark cherry fruit balanced with easy minerality. Also makes a great gift: Spanish wine fans may happily recognize the traditional style and quality, and the velvety richness should impress Bordeaux and Napa Cab devotees (who might even think you spent a lot more). A winner.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    Sultry only begins to describe this exquisite wine from Lesmos. Showing mulled raspberry and strawberry fruit on the nose, it quickly evolves into notes of leather (like really good expensive leather) and grilled chorizo. Beautiful spice and chalky notes round out the flavors. I've tasted the '98 several times and it has always impressed. This should continue to evolve for years to come but what an impressive wine it is right now.
  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    K&L Staff Member
    This Gran Reserva Rioja is great wine, and an unbelievable value for the quality. Cinnamon and I had this Bodegas Casa Juan Senor De Lesmos last night with thick cut pork chops and Spanish rice and were blown away by its class and intensity. This Rioja was one of the most concentrated and intense old school wines I have ever had. Rather than being blown away by oak, we were treated to intense savory red fruit and a laser finish that flattered the meal to no end. It held up to the spice in the rice with no problem and is on my list to buy today!
    Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2028
  • Sarah Covey
    By: Sarah Covey
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a gorgeous wine! Moving gracefully into its secondary characteristics, with stewed cherry, hints of leather and earth. Still had medium plus acid and fine tannins, leading me to believe this puppy will continue to age well for at least another 5-10 years. Drink it now after decanting, and you will not be diasppointed!


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