Friday, July 12, 2019

Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak on the Grill #WinePW

I always feel I get the best bang for the buck when I drink Rioja wines from Spain. This old world charm always has the complex flavor that’s appropriately oaked and structured, but is affordable for everyday consumption. Thanks to Jeff Burrows from Food Wine Click, some of us were able to obtain a sample from Bodegas LAN and have a great wine to start the feature blog about Rioja wine and summer BBQ. 
The Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja is located in the north of Spain, on both sides of the River Ebro. It is divided into three large zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental (Baja). In the highlands of Alavesa and Rioja Alta the remnants of the westerly winds from the Atlantic cool the vineyards. The harsh winds from the north are filtered by the Pyrenees and by the Cantabrian mountains. The result is a cold winter, mild and sunny spring, hot summers, and mild autumns with cooling night-time breezes. Although the highlands have a typical continental type of climate, a more Mediterranean climate rules in Rioja Baja with hot, dry summers with many hours of sunshine. 
Photo Credit: Fernando Beteta
Each of the wine zones has its characteristics. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body, and richness.

LAN, composed of the initials of the three provinces that make up the D.O.Ca. Rioja: Logroño (now La Rioja), Álava and Navarra, started their winemaking in 1972. Viña Lanciano is the name of the 72 hectares vineyards embraced by a curve of the River Ebro, on the natural border between the Rioja Alta and the Rioja Alavesa. A privileged location, sheltered by the Cantabria Mountains, which creates a different microclimate in each of its 22 parcels. It is also naturally protected from frost and extreme summer heat.

LAN Crianza 2015 Wine Note (from Bodegas LAN)

GRAPE VARIETIES: 96% Tempranillo and 4% Mazuelo.

VINEYARDS: Selected vineyards in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, aged between 10 and 20 years. Chalky-clay soils, located on well-drained slopes with good sun exposure.

WINEMAKING: Traditional winemaking, destalking - crushing. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks. 15 days’ maceration, with continuous pumping-over to optimize color extraction.

Aging: Aged for 14 months in hybrid oak barrels (a mixture of American oak staves and French oak bases), that LAN pioneered the use of, followed by nine months’ bottle conditioning.

TASTING NOTES: Bright cherry red with a garnet rim. An elegant nose with predominant notes of red and stone fruits: strawberry, raspberry, and peach. Patisserie and cream enveloped in elegant notes of vanilla and caramel and a subtle hint of cinnamon. It is flavorful and expressive on the palate. It is immediately inviting, enveloping the palate and leaving a long and pleasant aftertaste.
Without much hesitation, I have grilled a thick-cut of sirloin steak to pair with the LAN Crianza 2015. I generously seasoned the steak with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper right before putting it on the hot grill. A summer weekday steak dinner accompanied by a glass of LAN Crianza – a happy combo that I can eat, sip, and repeat on a regular basis!

Disclosure: The wine in this post is sample. All opinions are my own.

Check out our fellow bloggers' Rioja and BBQ!


  1. I agree 100% I think Rioja wines are one of the best value wines you can find!

  2. Your pairing sounds like the perfect weeknight dinner - quick, delicious, and a little bit luxurious. We can all use more of that in our lives!

  3. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple, sometimes that's the best!