I ordered a glass and liked it, but wanted to find out more about the product. After all, ‘D-12’ reminded me more of airplanes (B-52 and F-111) and models of Citroën (DS, C-5) than a wine brand. What were these guys up to?
The back label told me that it was created as a “winemakers’ reserve”. Traditionally, Lan’s winemakers would leave the best wines from a vintage in tank (depósito in Spanish, hence D) 12. It was unfiltered. The back label warned me that there might be some sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
‘That’s interesting’, I thought, ‘but how had the winery positioned this brand?’ So I turned to Amaya Cebrián, Lan’s communication director.
Amaya explained that the winery had identified a niche for a modern Rioja for discerning consumers looking for something special, but not necessarily a reserva, when moving beyond the crianza level.
I liked that idea because I feel that in an overcrowded marketplace, wine brands need to create and communicate a USP or unique selling proposition. D-12 had it.
It seemed to perfectly complement the rest of the range: the attractively priced crianza, reserva and gran reserva on one hand and the higher priced single vineyard range of Edición Limitada, Viña Lanciano and Culmen.
My wife, son and I shared a bottle at our summer house during the long Constitution Day puente last week. We all liked it a lot with the spicy seafood pasta that our son made.
My tasting notes:
Black cherry, almost purple. Intense fresh red and black berry fruit on top of a layer of new oak. Fruit, ripe tannins and good acidity on the palate. I thought that the wine would drink better in a few months when the tannins, fruit and acidity knit together a little more. But it’s very tasty right now.