2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja

SKU #1081481

There is a wonderful element of whimsy and joy at this tiny, family bodega located in Laguardia. The elephant logo, the on site African art museum, as well as the name (there is no Señor de Lesmos, as it turns out) all speak to the family's joie de vivre and sense of humor. There is nothing funny about the quality of these wines, though. 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. Produced from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, the wine shows a rather Burgundian nose of cherries and plums, opening to reveal a hint of sandalwood that leads to a wonderful palate that opens with tangy cherry flavors that are persistent and presented on an elegantly textured frame. Terrific acidity and a lasting finish. One could not ask for much more in a classically styled Rioja Crianza.

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Price: $12.99

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By: John Majeski |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/31/2012  | Send Email
A nicely-aged Rioja for under fifteen dollars? You've got to be kidding me, right? This Crianza proved once again the true legerdemain of our savvy Spanish wine buyer Mr. Manekin, who somehow finds countless aces, er, bottles up his sleeve in his uncanny ability to deliver one winning wine to your hands after another. And the ageworthy wines of the imaginary Señor de Lesmos are a sleight of vine in themselves, made from hand-selected estate fruit, using only natural yeasts to incite fermentation. The lovely 2005 Crianza evoked a suave nose of dried cherries, baked earth and tabak, revealing an evolving palate ranging from dried, pressed roses to leather to wild strawberries to balsawood. Supple and sensational, this will continue to develop for many more years.
Top Value!

By: Mari Keilman |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/29/2012  | Send Email
So classicly Rioja with the bright red cherry fruit, this $13 crianza over delivers with copious amounts of earth, incense and beautiful baking spices.

By: Jeff Garneau |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/7/2012  | Send Email
There are some wines that so far outperform their price point that you can do nothing but raise a glass in silent awe and appreciation. My first impression upon opening a bottle of the 2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja was that it was a perfectly good Spanish red at a very reasonable price of $12.99. After about half and hour or so in the decanter, though, something extraordinary happened. (My tasting notes at this point simply say “wow”.) The wine really opened up and began to exhibit a complexity of aromas and flavors I usually associate with much more expensive bottles. Powerfully aromatic with multiple layers of spice, flowers and fruits, a rich, silky texture and a long finish, this is a traditionally-styled Rioja of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo. If you enjoy Spanish wines this could easily be your new house red. If you have yet to experience the incredible values that Spain has to offer, this is a perfect introduction. Incredible quality. Great price.

By: Kyle Kurani |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/31/2012  | Send Email
What a wonderful addition to Joe's direct import portfolio. This traditional Bodega makes some truly elegant wine. Hailing from the strong 2005 vintage in Rioja, this Crianza has beautiful pure red fruit, a hint of leather, and a zesty spice note that sings through from start to finish. One of my favorite wines that I have tasted from Spain this year, regardless of price.

By: Steve Bearden |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/24/2012  | Send Email
This is a ridiculous price for such an elegant, complex and classically styled Rioja. Crunchy cherries, sweet plums, spice and floweres leap from this spectacular wine which maintains a cool elegance on the long finish. Classy, sophisticated and only 13 bucks!

By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/11/2012  | Send Email
There is no substitute for time when it comes to fine wine, and this 2005 has been given plenty of it before release. Classy, integrated, mature wine is almost always expensive, but this is a very happy exception at $12.99. I know that five or ten years from now, when I am drinking the last bottle out of the case that I just bought of this Rioja, I will be kicking myself for only taking one box. The very traditional, old world Lesmos Crianza has the leathery flavors and supple texture that makes good Rioja inimitable. At the price, anyone who likes dry reds should at least try a bottle!
Top Value! Drink from 2012 to 2025

By: Joe Manekin |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/22/2012  | Send Email
This is a lovely, traditional crianza style of Rioja. "Crianza" in Spanish literally means upbringing -in French it would be elevage. It also refers to the Rioja mandated ageing period for this style of wine, which is a minimum of two years (at least one of which is in barrel). This wine is aged much longer, however. The careful elevage,consisting of a native yeast fermentation, ageing in American and French oak (many barrels have only a light toast), and a long stabilization period in concrete after a blend is made, results in fantastic wine - full of freshness, complexity and the right stuff for ageing. Excelente!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 13