We have just landed a parcel of Rioja from one of our all-time favourite producers. The house of López Heredia is the epitome of traditional winemaking and reflects the history of one…

We have just landed a parcel of Rioja from one of our all-time favourite producers. The house of López Heredia is the epitome of traditional winemaking and reflects the history of one of the world’s great wine regions. In fact, little has changed over the last 139 years; today’s wines take you on a journey to a time before high alcohols, gooey fruit and early releases.

‘It is commonly known that if you are seeking bags of fruit and lashings of oak, this is not the place to come. My views and these scores might be irrational to someone with a penchant for lush, voluptuous Rioja. Lopez de Heredia is the apotheosis of traditional, classic wines: taut, fresh, bucolic, utterly charming and amazingly long-lived… distinguished, individual, long-lived and above all, delicious.’ – Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate

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We offer wines from 2 of their properties: Viña Cubillo and Viña Tondonia. The Viña Cubillois 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacho and the rest Mazuelo and Graciano, aged in barriques for 3 years. From the fine 2007 vintage, it offers a layered, mineral structure and beautiful, delicate fruit. It is lighter and more savoury than the firmer Viña Tondoniawhich contains 75% Tempranillo and expresses the finesse and power of the excellent 2004 vintage. Aged in oak for 6 years, the Viña Tondonia could very well be called a Gran Reserva for its quality and style. Both are ready to drink now, but will also age for several decades.

Remarkably well priced compared to the likes of Bordeaux and Burgundy, these are a must-buy for lovers of traditional, classic reds. For more information about these amazing wines, visit López Heredia’s engaging website.

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Email Nilo@winecellar.co.za or visit our website to place your order online.

Tasting notes:

Viña Tondonia, Reserva 2004 – R 435
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. – Wine Advocate, 94 points 

Viña Cubillo, Crianza 2007 – R 265
The 2007 Viña Cubillo Crianza is the most affordable red. It is a wine that was born to go with tapas and to be sold at local restaurants showing a combination of fruit and the earth where the vines grow. It is a blend of the usual 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo fermented in old oak vats with natural yeasts and matured in barrel for three years. The intoxicating nose shows blood orange, bitter cherries, leather and spices in a subtle and balanced way. The palate is sinewy, polished, has good acidity and is not terribly complex nor powerful, but is built more on the subtlety and lightness. This could well be the best Cubillo of recent times.  – Wine Advocate, 91+ points

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