Usually a couple times a year I feature wines of Spain. Our Wine Pairing Weekend group led by Jeff of Food Wine Click chose Rioja to highlight with some BBQ pairings. Let’s get creative!
Rioja Wine Region
The Rioja wine region of Spain has been making wine since Roman times. It’s one of Spain’s major wine growing districts located in the north central part of the country. Only about 200 miles from Bordeaux one can really delve into some of the famous wine regions of Europe. Back when the phylloxera vine attacking disease hit in the late 1800’s into early 1900’s some Bordeaux producers relocated to the area of Rioja since many of their vineyards were destroyed. The area had a similar climate and growing conditions in comparison to Bordeaux. The winery I’m sharing today, Bodegas LAN, is one of the respected wineries on this region.
Bodegas LAN was established in 1972 and is based in the town of Guenmajoy in the heart of Rioja Alta. Their vineyard, Vina Lanciano, is situated along the Ebro River and is where many of their wines are produced. I was intrigued by the LAN in the title as I thought it was rather unique. Come to find out it represents the 3 provinces that make up the Rioja D.O.C, Lagrono (known as La Rioja), Alava and Navarra.
The Grapes ~ Tempranillo
Rioja is primarily a red wine region. The red grapes used in the wines of Rioja include tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo, graciano and maturana tinta. When it comes to Spanish wines I have always gravitated towards tempranillo as I found many similar characteristics to sangiovese, one of my favorite Italian reds. They are medium to full body in weight displaying red fruits, primarily cherry as well as some earthy qualities and leather notes. As you’ll see the wine I sampled was primarily tempranillo with a small amount of mazuelo.
The Wine ~ Bodegas LAN
The 2012 Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva is made of 92% tempranillo with 8% mazuelo. The grapes are grown from long time suppliers of theirs from both the areas of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. The vines average about 25 years old. It is aged 18 months in oak plus an additional 21 months in the bottle. I loved the aromatics of this wine. The red fruit smelled luscious with vanilla notes and a hint of spice. The wine was medium-bodied with quite a silky texture. Well-balanced with mostly cherry notes and some blackberry showing in the glass. A lingering finish with the tannins making an appearance at the end. For only about $16 I find this wine to be quite a value.
What’s unique about the oak aging of this wine are the hybrid barrels used. Looking through the photos of their wine cellar they’re structured in a beautiful pyramidal shape. The barrels are comprised of French oak bases with American staves. Per their website the French lends “aromatic complexity with delicate notes of spice, touches of menthol, smoke and cocoa. It addes a considerable amount of tannins giving great structure”. The American oak on the other hand lends vanilla and coconut nuances.
When I think of red spanish wines whether its garnacha or tempranillo I always gravitate to roasted meats or BBQ grilled foods. I chose to pair the Bodegas LAN Reserva with an oven roasted Italian sausage dish with roasted potatoes and veggies. I love the summer time as I belong to a local farm and participate in their CSA program so weekly the veggies are abundant in our home. A super easy one pan dish to prepare and in this house the easier the better, plus my kids love sausage. The vino is for me! The pairing went well and I think grilling everything would be even better.
Join the rest of my fellow food and wine lovers as their share their wines of Rioja with some BBQ pairings. If you catch us in time join us live on Twitter Saturday July 13th at 11am EST on #WinePW. Hope to see you there!
- Deanna at Asian Test Kitchen shares "Vegan BBQ: 3 Ideas to Pair with Crianza Rioja".
- Lori at Exploring the Wine Glass shares "A Father's Passion is Passed Down to Daughter and Expressed in Bottle"
- David from Cooking Chat shares “Grilled Paprika Pork Chops with a Rioja”
- Jane at Always Ravenous shares "Grilled Sausage Feast Paired with Rioja Crianza"
- Lauren at The Swirling Dervish shares "Paella and Bodegas LAN: Perfect for Your Summer BBQ"
- Jill at L'Occasion shares "On the Grill with Rioja Wine"
- Martin at Enofylz Wine Blog shares "Grilled Garam Masala Lamb Chops paired with Bodega LAN Reserva"
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass shares "Keep your cool with grilled steak salad and Rioja"
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares "Robatayaki and Rioja Wines, the Perfect Summertime Party"
- Pinny at Chinese Food & Wine Pairings shares “Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak on the Grill"
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm shares "Our Favorite BBQ Ribs with LAN Rioja"
- Gwen at Wine Predator shares "An American Summer BBQ with Spanish Rioja Wine: LAN Crianza and Beronia Rosado"
- Nicole at Somm's Table shares “Cooking to the Wine: Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva with Smoky Seared Octopus”
- Rupal at Syrah Queen shares “Bodegas LAN Rioja with Canjun Butter Steak”
- Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares "Smoking Low & Slow with Rioja Wines"