Finally, the great 2005 Gran Reserva from our favorite Rioja winery has arrived! 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)
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