On the Trail

BODEGAS PUELLES

Felix and Jesús Puelles own 26 hectares of vines, all located within the prime Rioja Alta village of Abalos. This is a commune long famous for the quality of its vines and wines, as demonstrated by the large number of 14th century stone lagares built right on the vineyard (the original farm to table products!) as well as the notable amount of very old cellars. The Puelles red wines consist primarily of Tempranillo, with very small spashes of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. White wines consist almost entirely of Viura, though some Garnacha Blanca and even some occasional Chenin Blanc has been known to find its way into a blend. Fermented in tank and then racked to a blend of 50% French and 50% American oak barrels, used up to four times, the red wines are bright, clean, purely fruited Riojas. They are fresh and easy drinking, though the Reserva and Gran Reservas here improve nicely with age. The 1999 Gran Reservahas been our single best selling Spanish wine of the past few years, and one of our top selling reds from anywhere. A friendly and gracious host, Jesús also helps to manage a four room hotel, the Hospedería de Vino Abala, across from the winery.

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