2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1291966 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Gran Reserva can also do with some decanting in advance as it has some reductive aromas when first poured after opening. After that it has some notes of hung game, spices, beef blood, iron, tea leaves and peat showing mostly as tertiary aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, with a fine thread of acidity going through its spine that is laced with fine tannins. It is quite easy to drink and quite a good price for a Gran Reserva. (LG)  (4/2015)

James Suckling

 Some still-primary mulberries and raspberries with plenty of earthy complexity. Medium-weight palate with leather and earthy notes closing it out. Drink now.  (8/2018)

K&L Notes

A K&L Direct Import! Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. All of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 26 hectares, on chalky clay soil, all within the Rioja Alta village of Abalos. Felix, Jesús's older brother, handles the winemaking (as well as packing all our orders--gracias, Felix!). Utilizing a blend of roughly 50-50 French and American oak barrels, generally of 1-4 years of age for the Gran Reserva, this is a juicy, brightly fruited Gran Reserva, even at 12 years of age, though it shows the hints of spice and leathery savor we love in classic, well-made Rioja. Fresh, focused, and generously fruited, yet ultimately textbook Rioja, this is what we have come to expect from Casa Puelles and why I believe these continue to be among our most popular Spanish wines.

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Price: $19.99
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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/14/2019 | Send Email
This wine represents one of the most unique and fascinating things about this region: aged wines at a reasonable price, that are direct from the winery. Grown in great terroir in the La Rioja Alta region, this is mostly Tempranillo, with a little Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano, and is aged in mostly older barrels (French and American oak). Maturing, but still youthful, this wine delivers classic Rioja character: savory, dark fruits infused with spice, leather, and earth.

By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/9/2017 | Send Email
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Hailing from a great vintage in Rioja, this delivers a whole lot of wine for under $20. Prunes, tomato jam, blackberry, and cherry intermingle with hints of vanilla, leather and red licorice. Dried red fruit and lengthy, plush savory notes are accompanied by a long finish. Texturally, this wine is rich but possesses a lively acidity that dances on the palate. Complex as it is crowd pleasing, this wine is perfect for your next dinner party with friends and family.

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/6/2017 | Send Email
Puelles is a classic Spanish producer that in previous releases has straddled the line between modern, fruit-forward drinkability and more traditional dusky Rioja. The 2005 – a killer vintage – feels like a throwback to the older style, more restrained than the powerful 2004 but just as enjoyable. There is balance here, with a distinct savory quality, but Tempranillo’s bright cherry fruit still shines through, with hints of tobacco and leather on the finish and noticeable (though well-integrated) oak. Puelles is a Direct Import that truly is a crowd pleaser: a rich but easy going Gran Reserva that sings with quality, unbelievably only $20.

By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2017 | Send Email
Puelles continues to release traditionally aged, beautifully crafted and developed wine with their Gran Reserva 2005, a classic Rioja with simultaneous depth and lift. Classic, if slightly darker, almost Bordeaux-like flavors abound: cherries, plums, crushed flowers, anise, olive tapenade, tea leaves, woodsy spice, tree bark, and graphite all kept afloat by the weightless acidity and wrapped in soft, dusty tannins. I'm hard-pressed to think of another $20 wine in the shop that comes close.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2017 | Send Email
Here is an amazing deal on ready to drink wine from a very good vintage. In Rioja Gran Reserva indicates the best of the best and here is one boasting 10 plus years since the vintage and still selling for less than $20. This old vines bottling shows wonderfully mature flavors and aromas of dried cherries, cedar, a dusting of old leather and even a slight hint of maple. Despite the complexity and maturity of the flavors the structure is fresh, lifted and fine.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2017 | Send Email
I must have sold over 300 bottles of the 1999 Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja myself, back in the day. At twenty bucks, that was one of the best crossover "mature" red wines we've ever carried as a company. The flavors had evolved into a rich and earthy character I usually associate with the finest Bordeaux wines, so I made sure to send all of my best Bordeaux drinkers in that direction. Enter the 2005 Puelles: the same wine from a more recent vintage, at the same price, that I think might even be BETTER than that legendary 1999. Tasting this with Joe Manekin, our Spanish buyer, I was practically jumping up and down. The wine pours over the palate with a soft and silky core of fruit, but not the ripe and juicy red berry fruit you see in a young Rioja. After 12 years in the bottle, there's a rancio character and a fineness to the tannins that one can only experience with older wine. The problem with recommending old wine to the general populace is that it's usually expensive! Not in this case, however. Here with this 2005 Puelles you're getting serious, serious quality and a fine look at how great red wine matures for a price that's almost too good to be true. Load up. Load up big.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2017 | Send Email
Quite a simple breakdown for this wine: Great vintage (check); fantastic producer (also check), carefully bottle aged for you by our DI partners and 8th generation vineyard owners in the Puelles clan (yes!) The result is a wonderfully savory, sumptuous, beautifully balanced traditional Rioja that is delicious now and will continue to drink well for years ahead. At under $20, this might just be our best value in aged red wine in the store.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2017 | Send Email
I know calling this wine the best value in our store would be a bold statement, but it’s one I’m prepared to stand behind. It spent two years in barrel, another decade in bottle and it is showing its age beautifully. From a particularly warm vintage in Europe, the fruit is rich and layered but still retains its freshness and vibrancy with a bright acidity and smooth, integrated tannin. It has savory notes of mushroom, forest floor and crushed gravel and that wonderful perfectly integrated Puelles oak profile. Nothing compares at this price point.

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- 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.


- 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.