Today I am presenting a wine from my favorite Spanish Producer and one of my favorite wineries in the entire world, Lopez Heredia.
Spanish wines have a reputation for over delivering on my cost for quality quotient. Those of you who know me are well aware that I’m usually not the type of guy that only recommends the most expensive item on the menu but I’m about to do just that. I give you the 2007 Lopez Heredia, Tondonia, Reserva Rioja. It’s $149.99 a bottle. If you come to the shop you will plainly see that that it is, hands down, my most expensive Reserva. For that matter their Crianza is more than twice as expensive as some of my other brands. Upon, closer examination you will note that most of my other Reservas are 2014, 2015 or even 2016. These folks don’t release their wines until they think they are ready. The Heredia family is arguably the First Family of Rioja and they have been doing this for generation upon generation, since 1877. Lopez Heredia is one of the three first wineries built in the region. These wines came in pre-tariff and even with the tariffs hopefully going away forever the 2008 vintage is already in the states and is higher priced. These wines also age incredibly gracefully in the bottle. They are almost immortal. Robert Parker awarded this wine 96-points and had this to say about it: The 2007 Viña Tondonia Reserva is showing great, revealing unusual finesse and elegance. The nose is a little reticent but nuanced and complex, a little shy rather than explosive. The palate is medium-bodied, and the tannins are very refined. This has to be one of the finest vintages of the Viña Tondonia Reserva of recent years. It was bottled in November of 2015.
As always, with these offerings, all discounts apply so the savvy move might be to get a mixed case of the 2011 Crianza for $28.99 and the 2008 Reserva. I have a very limited supply of the 2008 so act quickly. Wine nerds keep reading all others please proceed to check out.
The 2011 is no slouch either, Robert Parker had this to say about it:
It’s not easy to follow a 2010 but the 2011 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza improves with time in the glass, showing much better than expected. 2011 was a warmer year than the 2020, and the wine is a little riper but has great balance and very good harmony. It’s a noteworthy red for the price asked. It was bottled in April 2017.
A quick note about the Rioja system:
In the broadest strokes there are four classifications of Rioja: Genérico, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. These wines are all made from the same grapes and often from the same vineyards. Once the wines have been fermented the teams evaluate each barrel and based on their knowledge, they set some aside for each classification.
- Genérico, previously known as Joven, which has no aging requirement and approximately 40% of each vintage falls into this category.
- Crianza, which must be aged a minimum of one year in oak and, I believe, (the law on this has very recently changed) six months in bottle before release.
- Reserva wines must be aged a minimum of three years with a minimum of one year in oak. These wines are produced in very good to great vintages.
- Gran Reserva wines must be aged a minimum of five years with a minimum of two years in oak. These wines are only produced in the very best vintages. I get very limited amounts of Lopez Heredia Gran Reserva these wines are aged at least a decade in barrel and then at least a further decade in bottle.