Grape(s): Tempranillo, Mazuelo
Localization: Rioja, Spain
Tasting Notes: This is an incredible Rioja. Dark Blue fruit is somehow topped with bright red that fades in and out through a cover of classic oak and spicy notes. A steal at this price, this bottle can hold its own against any Reserva out there.
Food pairing: This is a phenomenal option for nice steak dinners or roasted vegetables.
The Domain: Casa Juan is a family-owned and operated bodega in La Guardia, run by Angel Escudero and his family. While the family has been growing vines for years, it wasn’t until 1995 that Angel and his wife Anaceli decided to create a brand and sell it.
The fruit comes from small parcels of Tempranillo all trained en vaso, averaging around forty-five years old. They also own vines of Mazuelo in Rioja Baja, which accounts for fifteen percent of the final blend and adds lift and character to the wine. The soils are the typical calcareous clay found in the region, and the vineyards are farmed organically. Harvest is done by hand, and fermentations are spontaneous from wild yeasts in 24,000-liter concrete vats. Daily remontages introduce plenty of oxygen. Once both fermentations finish, the wines are racked into a combination of old French and American (Pennsylvania) oak barrels.