By Javier Compás
Until not so long ago, it was known as Rioja Baja, the largest and southernmost part of the D.O.C. Rioja, (Designation of Origin Rioja) where, traditionally, wines resulted to be more powerful due to the longer exposure of the grapes to the sunshine. Those grapes were used to complement and strengthen the wines from colder areas (with less hours of sunshine).
The new restructuring of the Rioja nomenclature has come up with this new denomination of the region as “Rioja Oriental” and from this part of La Rioja, are the Inédito wines produced by Bodegas Lacus that we tasted.
Even Luis Arnedo’s surname has a Riojan lineage as it is the name of a village crossed by the river Cidacos, where everything evokes wine and good products of the land. Bodegas Lacus is, however, located in another municipality in the area, Aldeanueva de Ebro. Ebro is the great river that forms a vast valley of rich and productive land, where man settled thousands of years ago and where the farmers continue working to obtain the best produce.
We tasted two red wines made at this family winery from La Rioja. Their wines ,rare as most of their production is being exported, have clearly showed us current wines from the Eastern Rioja region.
We begin with the Inédito 3/3 2017, made with 60% Tempranillo, 30% Garnacha and 10% Graciano, which after being in contact with its lees for six to nine months in stainless steel tanks, it gets refined during two more months in the bottle rack. When served, it shows fluid, with a beautiful deep red colour with violaceus edges. Country wine on the nose, with wild liquorice, cereals, leaves notes and a touch of chocolate,. The palate is fresh , light and very easy to drink.
Inédito S Graciano Garnacha 2016 is made with 60% Graciano and 40% Garnacha, and is aged for 16 months. It has an intense purplish colour with violaceus edges. On the nose, red fruits and clear memories of the terroir with mineral notes. The palate is fresh, fruity and lively, with a hint of tannin.