Bodegas LAN was named after the initials of the three provinces in the Rioja Designation of Origin: Logroño (now La Rioja), Álava and Navarra. María Barua has been the head winemaker and technical director since 2002, and brings both scientific expertise, with an academic background in chemistry in addition to her oenology degree, and local knowledge, being born, raised and educated in Rioja. She and her young and energetic team focus not only on understanding the technical details of winemaking, but also on ‘expressing the virtues of the land’.
Grapes are selected from 10- to 20-year-old vines from Bodegas LAN's long-standing suppliers in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa subzones. Sloped plots of calcareous-clay soils with good drainage and sun exposure give grapes of excellent concentration.
2013 was a difficult year for grape producers. Heavy spring rains and low temperatures delayed the growing season and resulted in uneven ripening. Fortunately, the risk posed by the two-to-three week delay was offset by prevailing good weather in September and October allowing for selective, staggered grape picking. Plots were harvested as the grapes reached appropriate ripeness, thereby optimising fruit quality. Rioja growers had to make full use of their expertise, demonstrating their ability to deal with situations as complex as this late vintage and get the most of it. The last grapes of the 2013 harvest were picked on 8th November - the most delayed harvest in recent history, and also one of the smallest. The Control Board of DOCa. Rioja has officially rated the 2013 vintage 'Good'.
The destemmed grapes were lightly crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 28ºC. Maceration in contact with the grape skins lasted 15 days, with daily pumping over for maximum colour and aromatic extraction. The wine was aged for 14 months in hybrid barrels (American oak staves and French oak heads) followed by nine months of resting and rounding out in the bottle prior to release.
Intense red cherry colour. Aromas of red fruits - strawberry, raspberry and cranberry – are framed by fine nuances of vanilla and toffee. Silky and structured on the palate, it has a long-lasting and satisfying finish.
Full-Bodied and Rich Red Wines
Full-bodied wines typically have more tannin, higher alcohol, and dark fruit flavours such as blackcurrant. Since these wines have so much pigment, they are higher in anthocyanin which has shown positive benefits to cardiovascular health. As far as flavour, these wines are the biggest on the spectrum and thus, pair with equally bold flavoured food.
Room Temperature (63-69 °F / 17-21 °C)
Barbecue, Mexican Foods, Smoked Meats, Red Meat & Steaks, Savory Mushroom Dishes, Black Pepper
tbsp olive oil
3 medium or 2 large aubergines, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
500g minced lamb
2 tbsp tomato purée, mixed with 150ml water
150ml red wine
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
For the bechamel:
60g plain flour
50g kefalotyri or pecorino cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
Nutmeg, to grate
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Cut the aubergines lengthways into 0.5cm slices, and put them on to oiled baking sheets. Brush with olive oil and season. Bake for about 25 minutes until soft, golden and floppy.
2.Meanwhile, put 2 tbsp olive oil into a large frying pan over a medium high heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic, cinnamon and oregano and cook for a further couple of minutes, then stir in the lamb. Turn up the heat slightly, and brown the lamb well, cooking until the mixture is quite dry. Stir in the tomato and wine, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down low and cook for 30–40 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and stir in the parsley.
3. Meanwhile, make the bechamel. Bring the milk to just below boiling point, and melt the butter in another saucepan. Stir the flour into the butter and cook for a couple of minutes, then gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook until you have a thick sauce, then stir in the cheese until melted. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, then beat in the eggs, salt to taste and slightly more nutmeg than you might think wise (it's a strong flavour, but you need a heft of it in this dish I think - half a teaspoon at least).
4.Arrange a third of the aubergines in the base of an oven dish, and top with half the meat. Repeat these layers, then finish off with a layer of aubergine, and top with the sauce. Bake for about 45 minutes until well browned, and then leave to cool for half an hour before serving.
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