The most renowned jewel in our crown comes from an exclusive selection of old vines with extremely low yields and superlative qualities. An exclusive delight that is only made in exceptional vintages, like that of 2017. Culmen, a wine that expresses the culmination of LAN’s work.
Originating in the Pago el Rincón
Culmen comes from a selection of vines in Pago El Rincón, a parcel of almost 15 hectares to the south of Viña Lanciano, located at the foot of the mountain with which it shares its name. At an altitude of 491 metres, on slightly sloping terrain, the vines are trained in the traditional manner as three-armed bush vines, facing North-South.
A terroir that is marked by its location, sheltered by the Sierra de Cantabria, embraced by a curve of the River Ebro. On poor soils, composed of pebbles, gravel and sand, the vines dig their roots deep to extract nutrients and mineral salts. The vines that Culmen comes from live on the edge with very low vigour in their growth and tiny yields. There is a reason why they are the oldest on the whole of the meander of Viña Lanciano, with more than sixty years of age.
2017, an excellent vintage
Only ten vintages have been considered excellent in LAN’s half a century of history. Culmen 2017 is made from 89% Tempranillo and 11% Graciano grapes.
“A wine with great aromatic complexity and finesse, where ripe red fruit notes stand out, particularly cranberries, alongside refined touches of scrubland, mint and black pepper that are intensified by the Graciano,” in the words of our winemaker María Barúa.
Viña Lanciano is an estate that is known for being the earliest to start harvesting in the Rioja Alta. It’s a vineyard where Tempranillo ripens to a very high level of concentration, with flavours of black fruit, as do other long-cycle varieties that need longer hours of sunlight, like Graciano, which develops more aromas of black fruit, menthol and spices.
We harvested the bunches from which Culmen is created by hand on the 16th and 17th September 2017. The end to a growing cycle that was characterised by early-budding, with drought in the spring and summer and rain at the end of August, which helped achieve a good balance of ripeness between sugars and polyphenolic compounds.
Culmen is a fascinating example of artisan craftsmanship, not only in the vineyard. From the carrying out of its malolactic fermentation in very fine grain new French oak barrels from the Tronçaise and Jupille forests, to its 25 months’ ageing in new French oak barrels, sourced from the same forests, followed by 22 months’ refining in the bottle, everything is done with the utmost care. And experts agree that Culmen 2017 is an exceptional wine. This is why it has been bestowed with 96 points by the Vivir el Vino guide and 94 points from the international critic, James Suckling, and in the Peñín Guide.
A new serious and elegant label
Culmen’s look has reached a new peak, losing superfluous elements, advancing towards a state of more mature simplicity, rising up to achieve a better image in keeping with its name.
With the minimum number of elements possible: text, embossing and the brand logo, all of the highest quality. A new, more homogenous and coherent typeface, together with a highly textured cotton paper to give richness and add depth to the small details.