In a nutshell: A ripe and rounded oak aged white Rioja made in a more modern style.
The lowdown: Bodegas Luis Cañas have quietly built an enviable reputation for themselves since they first started bottling their owns wines back in 1970 and turn out an excellent range of all styles of Rioja. Their Viñas Viejas white is a very well balanced wine which, while barrel aged in traditional style, is made in a modern, approachable way. After harvesting and fermentation in barrel the wine then is aged for a few months further, on its lees, in new French and American oak. This lends it a generous creamy and vanilla feel which sits well with the ripe stone fruit, red apple and lemon fruit flavours. While it's a rich, full style there's a well balanced acidity that leaves a nicely clean finish.
When to drink: Pleasingly full and fruity, it goes well seafood, rissotos, or mild cheeses.
From their winery in Villabeuna Luis Cañas, in 1970, changed two hundred years of tradition and became the first winemaker in Rioja Alavesa to bottle his young wine rather than sell it as bulk. This bold move, and his continued pioneering spirit, has cemented the winery's enviable reputation as one of the most progressive in the region.
Sheltered below the watchful Sierra Cantabria, the vineyards are all old, small plots on chalky-clay soils with a dedicated team of vineyard workers carrying out organic practices and a purpose built, fully equipped accommodation block was built for the entire vineyard team in 2006. In his late 80's, Luis still leads the annual harvest, standing at the head of the selection table, keen to ensure that only the best parcels of grapes are used in his wines. His son, Juan Luis Cañas is now the powerhouse behind this highly accomplished winery, but everywhere you go there is a feeling of family, and especially of the lasting legacy that Luis Cañas will leave for both his son and the Alavesa.
One of the fundamental philosophies of Luis Cañas is that the best wines can only be obtained from the best possible grapes - and this begins and ends in the vineyards.
With 350 hectares of outstanding vineyards, split across 870 different plots, the viticultural department control every aspect. Each of the plots has its own personality and is categorised and used for different wines according to its characteristics.