2007 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
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. This 2007 beautifully highlights the cooler, more Atlantic-influenced vintage in Rioja, resulting in a Lesmos Crianza that is textbook: very fresh, slightly spicy, elegant, and very, very drinkable. One could not ask for much more in a classically styled Rioja Crianza.