This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for went to Luis Cañas, Selección de la Familia, Rioja Reserva 2008 (14.5%)

Tasted against:

  • Alvarez Alfaro, Rioja Reserva 2007
  • Compañia Vinícola del Norte de España, Imperial, Rioja Reserva 2008
  • Nubori, Vemndemia Seleccionada, Rioja Reserva 2006


The vineyard holdings of Luis Cañas are a patchwork of 870 plots totalling some 350 hectares of low-yielding vines on chalk and clay soils, all located in Rioja Alavesa.

The Luis Cañas family has been in business for more than 200 years. For most of that time, however, it was selling its wine in bulk, and it wasn’t until 1970 that it started to bottle the fruits of its own labours.

Today the man in charge is Juan LuisCañas. After joining the family company in 1989 he has increased the focus on more serious, barrel-aged wines. Under his stewardship, the estate has also benefited from a new winery and extensive revamping of its technology and equipment.

Cañas says this Trophy-winner (85%Tempranillo) ‘is a wine that expresses character – character of the Tempranillo grape but also of the soils where the vineyards are located’.

The vineyards in question are between 45 and 60 years old, on a gentle slope. ‘When we get hit by storms in August or September,’ says Cañas, ‘the ground absorbs as much water as it needs, and the rest washes down the hillside and into a ditch at the bottom.’

Written by Decanter