Selection in the vineyard,
not the winery. fruit. Attack of
sweet, dark fruit with loam, black fruit, charred wood. tannic grip—somewhat rustic finish. Very good.
H Lopez de Heredia is one of the oldest and most celebrated wineries in Rioja. Founded in 1877 by Rafael Lopez de Heredia, the winery has a well earned reputation for producing the most traditional wines (and some of the most interesting) of Rioja. The grapes for these wines are sourced from Lopez de Heredia’s own vineyards (ie. Gravonia and Tondonia) totaling 170 hectares in Rioja Alta. Importer: Think Global LLC Santa Barbara, CA.
Lopez de Heredia 1989 Viña Tondonia Reserva Rioja ($48) 92 Gold in color with aromas of dried apricots, white almonds, dried figs and butterscotch. Soft, and round on the attack with oxidized flavors of dry sherry and dried fruit. The wine exhibits good acidity and balance, and a very long finish. Great match with foie gras, or eggs scrambled with truffles and shitakes.
Lopez de Heredia 2002 Viña Cubillo Crianza Rioja ($28) 89 This Viña Cubillo is medium ruby in color with a garnet rim. It displays aromas of dried cherry, dried mushroom, and forest floor. Soft and sweet on the attack, it reveals flavors
dried cherry, raspberry and vanilla with leather notes.
Tannins are round and the finísh is firm.
Lopez de Heredia 2000 Viña Basconia Reserva Rioja ($39) 92 This terrific wine is a blend of 80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, and 5% Mazuelo/ Graciano. Medium dark ruby in color, it offers aromas of black cherry, cigar box, and
s m o k y o a k f o l l o w e d b y e a r t h y meaty flavors of dark fruits , with good acidity and great depth of flavor. mouth filling. Round and
H Luberri is a small family winery in Rioja Alevesa, owned and operated by Florentino Martinez Monje. It has 35 ha of low-yielding old vine vineyards. Vineyard management is a top priority and yields are kept low. The wine sat this estate are well made: clean, fruit forward and modern: De Maison Selections, Inc Chapel Hill, NC
Luberri 2005 Seis de Luberri Rioja ($18) 89 The Seis de Luberri displays a dark ruby color with aromas of black cherry and plum fruit, licorice, leather, and spice box. On the palate it exhibits highly concentrated dark red and spicy fruit flavors, chewy tannins and a long finish. This is a delicious wine that would benefit from a year or more in the bottle.
Luberri 2004 Biga Rioja ($22) 87 Medium ruby in color, this 100% Tempranillo from old vines exhibits an earthy spicy character with red berry fruit aromas, minerals and notes of white pepper. On the palate it reveals more ripe red fruit flavors, mineral like notes, round gripping tannins, and a dry finish.
Luberri 2003 Monje Amestoy Rioja ($31) 90 This deep ruby colored wine offers attractive aromas of ripe black raspberry and plum fruits and sweet smoky charred
oak. It is soft and lush on the attack with concentrated ripe black fruit, mineral notes and spice, excellent balance and a long lasting finish.
Luis Cañas The Luis Cañas winery began making bulk wine in1928 and bottling its own wine in 1970. Over the past decades, under Juan Luis Cañas, son of the founde , the winery has modernized its winemaking operation, and today produces high volume traditional and modern style wines. Stylisticall , its Crianzas and Reservas tend to be rustic, earthy and meaty with more than a hint of oak. Most noteworthy are the Amaren series, only produced in the best years, and Hiru 3 Racimos sourced from hand-selected old vines Tempranillo. Importer: Henriot N , NY
Luis Cañas 2001 Reserva Selección de la Familia Rioja ($30) 88 Dark ruby, pleasant ripe plum and black cherry aromas, big and concentrated flavors, savory. Soft attack, ripe concentrated dark plum fruit, nicely balanced, cherry tannins and grip. Would benefit from cellar time but you could enjoy it with big flavorful roast meats.
Luis Cañas 2004 Hiru 3 Racimos Rioja ($118) 93 This wine is the result of meticulous winemaking at Luis Cañas. Produced from a careful selection of fruit from high altitude old vine vineyards, this Hiru 3 Racimos is opaque ruby in color with rich aromas of black fruits and toasted oak. On the attack it offers a silky soft texture with pure mouthfilling blackberry fruit and minerals on the palate, rounded tannins and terrific balance. It is a most expressive wine that could be mistaken for a New World wine in a blind tasting, but is a fine example of new wave Rioja winemaking.
Luis Cañas 2001 Amaren Tempranillo Reserva Rioja ($--) 89 Made in the better vintage years, this Amaren exhibits a deep ruby garnet color and aromas of black cherry, leather, and roasted meat. On the palate it offers a soft attack of dried plum fruit with earthy notes and hints of balsamic and herbs followed by round and chewy tannins and good grip on the finish.
H Marques de Caceres winemaking in the 1970s.
led the revolution in Rioja Built by owner Enrique Forne ,
along specifications inspired by the famed French enologist, Émile Peynaud, the winery was the most modern for its time. Since then, Marques de Caceres has been at the forefront of
very good in terms of quality especially noteworthy modern Importer: Vineyard Brands, Inc.
and price. Gaudium is an wine of a very high quality.
Marques de Caceres 2004 Crianza Rioja ($13) 87 The 2004 Crianza is a blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, and Graciano. Medium ruby in color, it offers aromas of earthy black cherry fruit followed by a soft lush attack of light cherry and plum fruit, spice and rounded tannins on the finish. This is a tasty every day wine made in the traditional style.