2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja SKU #1291966


Club Price: $16.99
RP 90
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

A K&L Direct Import! Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. All of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 26 hectares, on chalky clay soil, all within the Rioja Alta village of Abalos. Felix, Jesús's older brother, handles the winemaking (as well as packing all our orders--gracias, Felix!) Utlizing a blend of roughly 50-50 French and American oak barrels, generally of 1-4 years of age for the Gran Reserva, this is a juicy, brightly fruited Gran Reserva, even at 12 years of age, though it shows the hints of spice and leathery savor we love in classic, well-made Rioja. Fresh, focused, and generously fruited, yet ultimately textbook Rioja, this is what we have come to expect from Casa Puelles and why I believe these continue to be among our most popular Spanish wines.

Staff Reviews

  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    Hailing from a great vintage in Rioja, this delivers a whole lot of wine for under $20. Prunes, tomato jam, blackberry, and cherry intermingle with hints of vanilla, leather and red licorice. Dried red fruit and lengthy, plush savory notes are accompanied by a long finish. Texturally, this wine is rich but possesses a lively acidity that dances on the palate. Complex as it is crowd pleasing, this wine is perfect for your next dinner party with friends and family.
  • Diana Turk
    By: Diana Turk
    K&L Staff Member
    Puelles is a classic Spanish producer that in previous releases has straddled the line between modern, fruit-forward drinkability and more traditional dusky Rioja. The 2005 – a killer vintage – feels like a throwback to the older style, more restrained than the powerful 2004 but just as enjoyable. There is balance here, with a distinct savory quality, but Tempranillo’s bright cherry fruit still shines through, with hints of tobacco and leather on the finish and noticeable (though well-integrated) oak. Puelles is a Direct Import that truly is a crowd pleaser: a rich but easy going Gran Reserva that sings with quality, unbelievably only $20.
  • Ivan Diaz
    By: Ivan Diaz
    K&L Staff Member
    Puelles continues to release traditionally aged, beautifully crafted and developed wine with their Gran Reserva 2005, a classic Rioja with simultaneous depth and lift. Classic, if slightly darker, almost Bordeaux-like flavors abound: cherries, plums, crushed flowers, anise, olive tapenade, tea leaves, woodsy spice, tree bark, and graphite all kept afloat by the weightless acidity and wrapped in soft, dusty tannins. I'm hard-pressed to think of another $20 wine in the shop that comes close.
  • Steve Bearden
    By: Steve Bearden
    K&L Staff Member
    Here is an amazing deal on ready to drink wine from a very good vintage. In Rioja Gran Reserva indicates the best of the best and here is one boasting 10 plus years since the vintage and still selling for less than $20. This old vines bottling shows wonderfully mature flavors and aromas of dried cherries, cedar, a dusting of old leather and even a slight hint of maple. Despite the complexity and maturity of the flavors the structure is fresh, lifted and fine.
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    I must have sold over 300 bottles of the 1999 Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja myself, back in the day. At twenty bucks, that was one of the best crossover "mature" red wines we've ever carried as a company. The flavors had evolved into a rich and earthy character I usually associate with the finest Bordeaux wines, so I made sure to send all of my best Bordeaux drinkers in that direction. Enter the 2005 Puelles: the same wine from a more recent vintage, at the same price, that I think might even be BETTER than that legendary 1999. Tasting this with Joe Manekin, our Spanish buyer, I was practically jumping up and down. The wine pours over the palate with a soft and silky core of fruit, but not the ripe and juicy red berry fruit you see in a young Rioja. After 12 years in the bottle, there's a rancio character and a fineness to the tannins that one can only experience with older wine. The problem with recommending old wine to the general populace is that it's usually expensive! Not in this case, however. Here with this 2005 Puelles you're getting serious, serious quality and a fine look at how great red wine matures for a price that's almost too good to be true. Load up. Load up big.
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    Quite a simple breakdown for this wine: Great vintage (check); fantastic producer (also check), carefully bottle aged for you by our DI partners and 8th generation vineyard owners in the Puelles clan (yes!) The result is a wonderfully savory, sumptuous, beautifully balanced traditional Rioja that is delicious now and will continue to drink well for years ahead. At under $20, this might just be our best value in aged red wine in the store.
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    I know calling this wine the best value in our store would be a bold statement, but it’s one I’m prepared to stand behind. It spent two years in barrel, another decade in bottle and it is showing its age beautifully. From a particularly warm vintage in Europe, the fruit is rich and layered but still retains its freshness and vibrancy with a bright acidity and smooth, integrated tannin. It has savory notes of mushroom, forest floor and crushed gravel and that wonderful perfectly integrated Puelles oak profile. Nothing compares at this price point.


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