One of the more exciting aspects of our direct import program is our ability to find exceptional wines at prices you simply won’t find anywhere else. Locating a Rioja Gran Reserva for under $30 is a rarity, finding one for under $20 is practically unheard of. And that’s just what we have with the 2005 Bodegas Puelles. First off, 2005 was an absolutely stunning vintage in Rioja offering the perfect conditions for wines of ideal balance and poise. Second, Jesús Puelles is a very talented winemaker, so given the raw materials 2005 provided he was able to craft an utterly breathtaking Gran Reserva. Bold, rounded black and red fruits hold center stage and are beautifully accented by notes of wild flowers, anise, saddle leather, and porcini mushroom. Given the long bottle aging the tannins are perfectly integrated making for a smooth and supple approach making this 2005 about as sumptuous as they come. And while it is drinking very well now, it will only continue to develop for another ten to fifteen years. That’s a whole lot of wine for $19.99.
Jesús Puelles himself is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. All of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 26 hectares, on chalky clay soil, all within the Rioja Alta village of Abalos. Felix, Jesús' older brother, handles the winemaking (as well as packing all our orders - gracias, Felix!) Utlizing a blend of roughly 50-50 French and American oak barrels, generally of one to four years of age for the Gran Reserva, this is a juicy, brightly fruited Gran Reserva, even at twelve years of age, though it shows the hints of spice and leathery savor we love in classic, well made Rioja. Fresh, focused, and generously fruited, yet ultimately textbook Rioja, this is what we have come to expect casa Puelles and why we believe these continue to be amongst our most popular Spanish wines.
-K&L Buying Team