2011 Bodegas Olarra "Laztana" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1532109 95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Sarah Jane Evans MW - Truffly, balsamic, cherry aromas. Full-bodied and fleshy in the mouth, a really youthful wine, packed with energy. Notes of oranges, blackberries and redcurrants abound, then following through with a firm structure of tannin. Christine Parkinson - Spicy aromas of turmeric, cumin, strawberry and dark chocolate, which all carry through to the palate. Creamy layers of tannin are very appealing, and the strong core of acidity makes this a great wine for food. Very long, confident, concentrated finish. Beth Willard - Attractive nose of rose petal, peach and red cherry. Very ripe, jammy fruit, strawberry, with a touch of white pepper on the finish and fresh acidity. A more fruit-forward style of wine, with well balanced oak. Inner quote mark (1/2021)

K&L Notes

Bodegas Olarra was founded in 1973 and is located just across the Ebro River from the picturesque town of Logroño. Olarra shocked the region early on by managing to convince local winemaking legend Ezequiel "El Brujo" García to jump ship from CVNE. Olarra has been making solid, traditionally-styled Rioja ever since, and their wines have a sneaky tendency to over-deliver at their respective price points.

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Price: $19.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/13/2021 | Send Email
Why arent we all drinking more Rioja? This has become something of a constant refrain for me. There is nowhere else on the planet producing top quality, full-bodied reds with as much value for price as Rioja. The 2011 Laztana is a perfect example. The aromas kick off with dark blueberry, baking spice, black cherry, and savory undertones. There's plenty of complexity here, with new aromas presenting themselves every time I return to the glass. The body is full, almost plump with additional strawberry and red cassis fruit to follow, its acidity playing a backseat role on the palate. What I love about this wine is that it is unmistakably old-world, and a great expression of what Rioja is all about. And yet it is still extremely well-crafted with pure, clean fruit and well-restrained oak that adds to the wine without distracting from it. A perfect example of great Rioja at a great price.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/13/2021 | Send Email
One of the great things about wine is that it will always surprise you. There is always something new to experience or learn. I have been very lucky that over that last couple of days that I have been able to sit and think about Rioja. I wish that more of my job was just to sit and think about wine, but I am not getting paid to write a book. My job is to sell wine. We have recently received this Gran Reserva in stock, and what a treat it is. This has that wonderful settled-in thing that you can only get from a Gran Reserva Rioja. No other older wine delivers that type of experience. Red fruits and spice upfront followed by a soily, mushroomy earthiness and a very clean but worn leather tone. The palate is medium full, with fine but firm tannins that frame the wine. The fruit has a little freshness to it, but that drying red fruit is present. The palate is all red fruit backed by very fine spice and faint minerality. It is that mineral character which led to my surprise. It is similar to what you find on the Northern banks of the Ebro river, but not quite the same. That got me searching the interwebs. The vineyards for this wine are located around the village of Viana, in Rioja Oriental. This is where the Rioja falls into the state of Navarra. I do not normally think of wines from the Oriental region to have this character, but these are vineyards that are planted into the rough hillsides of the Sierra Cantabria. This is also the place where the Atlantic influence starts to fade and the wines become more Mediterranean. This wine tastes like that! I absolutely love when you find a piece of a puzzle that you didn’t know you were looking for. What is even better is how drinkable this wine is. It is not round, but the edges are a little softer, and the wine has an easy poise. And it is all too easy to drink.

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