1973 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva
New to our May Clearance Sale
The Irreplaceable Lopez de Heredia
New Wines from the Rioja Icon
Lopez de Heredia is one of the world’s elite wine estates. This statement isn’t a surprise to anyone who reads at all about Spanish wines, but it bears repeating. “Why?” you might ask, “would you tell us something we already know?” The answer to that question is that for all of the grace, complexity, age-worthiness and profundity of the wines, the prices are shockingly low. You can purchase the entry level wine from the greatest traditional Rioja estate for less than $30. You can buy their Riservas (for which the current releases are 2004/6!!) for under $35. Even their great wines–old Gran Riservas, with bottle age, will set you back less than the average bottle of 2010 Mouton.
How can this be? The idea that you can buy a bottle of Gran Riserva Tondonia from the 1960’s, directly from the winery’s cellar, for the same price or less than a current vintage of top-tier Bordeaux? We don’t think this will last that long. We’ve got some new wines from Lopez coming in–from up and down the range, price wise. They all over-deliver.
Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2006 Viña Bosconia Reserva, always more rustic and powerful than the Viña Tondonia, was cropped from a warm and early harvest and is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. This wine matures in used American oak barrels for five years. It has a very developed nose, and as winemaker Mercedes López de Heredia noted, “It could be confused with a Gran Reserva, as I see it more tertiary and developed.” These are amazing wines, clean and complex, with polished tannins and surprisingly good acidity. I have the idea of 2006 as a warmer vintage, but it’s not true throughout Rioja; as I’ve seen with other wines, like the ones from Muga, in this cooler part of Rioja, the vintage was much better. There are some dusty tannins and some flavors that still remind you of fresh fruit. 72,000 bottles were filled in June 2013.”
Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2004 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001, the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity, bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that’s possible–umami?) and developed, with tertiary aromas and good balance between spices, leathery notes, cherries and balsamic notes of cigar box and incense. The palate is both round and crisp, with refined tannins. It has very good balance with subtle acidity and very good persistence.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “[Reviewed May 2017] (aged for six years in American oak barrels) Deep red. Exotic, oak-spiced red berry liqueur, dried cherry and vanilla aromas are complemented by a smoky overtone. Sweet and pliant in the mouth, displaying a velvety texture to the plush black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and coconut flavors. Shows no rough edges and picks up a suave floral note with air, finishing with excellent clarity, a hint of allspice and round, harmonious tannins.”
Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The red they say was born to go with tapas and sold in local restaurants is the 2009 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza. 2009 was a warm and ripe year, and this blend of Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (or the masculine Garnacho they like to use) plus 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo from limestone soils with quite a lot of clay, feels juicy and soft. It fermented with natural yeasts in large oak vats and matured in used barriques for three years. This is a bottling that has grown and improved a lot since 2004-2005. It shows very good balance between fruit and more developed aromas, with hints of leather and cherries, spices and smoke, very clean and with good volume in the palate. It’s usually a little riper and with higher alcohol than Tondonia or Bosconia, with the character, finesse and elegance of a classical Reserva. 93,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2013.”