The ‘D-12’ Crianza is a nod to the cheeky tradition of Rioja winemakers choosing the best wines to keep to drink themselves. In Bodegas LAN’s case, this was always the wine in the ‘D-12’ tank. Each vintage the most promising Tempranillo parcel is singled out and destined for ‘D-12’.
Intense cherry red in colour. On the nose aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberries are married with spicy notes of vanilla and toast. On the palate velvety tannins give a silky mouthfeel and a crisp acidity carries the flavours onto the spicy finish.
The Tempranillo grapes for the 2017 D-12 were sourced from two specially selected vineyards: one near Viñaspre in Rioja Alavesa boasting vines over 35 years old, the other near Fonzaleche in Rioja Alta with 20-year-old vines. These older vines produce lower yields of grapes with great intensity of flavour.
2017 was a challenging vintage in Rioja. The growing season got off to a difficult start when an April frost damaged many of the young buds and reduced yields. This was followed by a long drought. However, much-needed rain fell in August and gave the vines the necessary boost to see them through the final stages of ripening. The harvest was one of the earliest on record and despite the smaller quantities than usual, quality was high and the grapes had superb concentration of flavour.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed and crushed. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 25°C, in order to retain the aromatics of the Tempranillo. Micro-oxygenation and maceration in contact with the lees prior to malolactic fermentation helped to round out the tannins and gave the wine a lovely silky mouthfeel. The wine was aged for 12 months in new oak barrels, 70% of which were American oak from the Appalachians, 30% of which were French oak from the forests of Châteauroux and Loches. The final blend was then assembled and the wine was aged for a further 12 months in bottle before release.