In an era of regular new and exciting releases, it’s easy to overlook the legendary producers that paved the way a century ago. Founded in 1928, 1880 and 1877 respectively,…

In an era of regular new and exciting releases, it’s easy to overlook the legendary producers that paved the way a century ago. Founded in 1928, 1880 and 1877 respectively, we offer you Rhône from Rayas, Loire from Huet and Rioja from López de Heredia that have been produced in the same style for many decades.

Domaine Huet is one of France’s great white wine producers. From dry to intensely sweet, the chalky soils of Vouvray produce the longest-ageing wines in the world. Benchmark vintages from the ‘40s are in perfect condition as age imparts extra depth and complexity. The 1999 Le Mont Demi-Sec is still a teenager, offering a burst of mango, toasted nuts, spice and wet earth, wrapped in a mineral structure that balances the residual sugar. Library stocks, along with the latest 2017s, are available here.

López de Heredia is the world standard-bearer for traditional, fine wine. Their elegant, long-aged Riojas are ingrained into the landscape and López de Heredia family, as future generations take over custodianship. Aged 7 years longer than standard Crianza, the 2009 Viña Cubillo Crianza spoils the drinker with a mature wine on release. It offers a kaleidoscope of savoury notes and sumptuous sweet fruit with a serious acidity that makes it incredibly drinkable and versatile with food. View all López de Heredia wines here.

The Reynaud family of Château Rayas produce another unique offering with their late-release, ripe-style of Southern Rhône Grenache. The barrels used for ageing are as old as the winery, capturing a traditional stamp of savoury perfume and beguiling fruit. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape is on allocation only but their baby version, Domaine des Tours Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, is made in the same style. Heady but perfumed, it is a dazzling and intense expression of Grenache and Cinsault. Find all the Tours wines here.

Order the mixed 3-pack and get free delivery anywhere in SA.

Tasting notes:

Huet, Le Mont Demi-Sec 1999
This is a wonderful straw colour with hints of bright yellow. It is still quite closed and conservative, showing ripe mango and wet earth notes. The palate is quite primary and perhaps needs more time in bottle. The sweetness fades into a mineral, taut finish. – Roland Peens

Viña Cubillo, Crianza 2009
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. It was bottled in April 2013. – Wine Advocate, 92/100

Tours, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge 2011
Pale red. Spice- and mineral-tinged aromas of red currant, dried cherry and rhubarb develop a musky underbrush note in the glass. Picks up a smoky nuance with air, which adds complexity to light-bodied red berry, blood orange and succulent herb flavors. Becomes sweeter and deeper with air, finishing with good clarity, spicy lift and gentle tannins. – Josh Raynolds, Vinous, 89/100

 

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