Producers Nick D’Angelo & Brent Emery and Lopez de Heredia Wines
The first of the reds here is the 2008 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza from a cooler vintage that produced some austere and serious wines--a year with higher acidity and lively fruit. It feels effervescent and it makes you salivate. This is usually a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines that ferments in ancient oak vats, and ages in barrel for three years. This cuvée has increased its quality tremendously since the 1990s. These cooler years provide citric freshness, and a very fine texture and vibrant acidity. This is so easy to drink that it can be dangerous.This was the Rioja clarete fino--the everyday red. It's both elegant and powerful. Very good value, too.
2008 Lopez De Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza ($25)
Wines of the Night
2005 Lopez De Heredia Viina Bosconia Riserva ($35)
A worthy follow up to the 2004 is the 2005 Viña Bosconia Reserva, a wine that they consider the most rustic and powerful in the winery, but that I find as elegant and subtle as it gets. This feels very much in line with the 2004, maybe a notch above even, a lower yielding year. The nose is somehow closed and feels young with the elegant rusticity lurking from the bottom of the glass, clean and precise. The tannins are velvety and there is great acidity--a constant here. The wine is terribly elegant.
2005 Lopez De Heredia Vina Tondonia Riserva ($43)
Brilliant ruby with light tiled trim. Very fine nose, fresh, toasted with light aromas of vanilla. Very persistent. On the palate it is very dry, soft, round and developed. This wine accompanies both hot salads with quail or bird, flakes, foi gras with reduced raspberry jam, as with lamb roasts and suckling pig. In general, pair this wine with anything as it is a very versatile wine.Blend: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho (notice the masculine use of Garnacha), 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo