Bodegas Lopez de Heredia 2005 Vina Cubillo Crianza 375ml
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Bodegas Lopez de Heredia 2005 Vina Cubillo Crianza 375ml

$32.89 (Inc. Tax)
$28.60 (Ex. Tax)
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Marquis Wine Cellars 1034 Davie Street Vancouver

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Description

The 2005 Cubillo Tinto Crianza has a wonderful bouquet with leathery red fruit augmented by subtle hints of undergrowth, tobacco and a touch of spice. The palate is medium-bodied with a bit of piquancy on the entry. The acidity is quite sharp and it is missing a little flesh and weight towards the tensile finish. Drink now-2018.

Score: 91 points -- RobertParker.com

I have adored, indeed occasionally worshiped, the wines of Lopez de Heredia for many years, so I am not ashamed to admit that visiting both their vineyard and their winery was a pilgrimage. Founded by Rafael Lopez de Heredia y Landeta in 1877, it has withstood the tide of corporatization and homogeneity, and epitomizes timeless, artisan winemaking in their own individual, almost solipsistic manner. Technology is noticeable by its absence here. For example, to quote her sister Maria-Jose at a tasting that I subsequently attended in London: “Indigenous yeasts have adapted to high temperatures. To control the temperature during fermentation, we open doors and windows” and “malolactic is the invention of modern winemakers.” I had to check whether this was 2012 or 1912. If you were to award points for charisma, then this producer would be in a league of its own. That would count for nothing if their wines were not distinguished, individual, long-lived and above all, delicious. 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. I spent two or three hours with winemaker Mercedes Lopez de Heredia, who was celebrating her birthday with, appropriately enough, a bottle of Tondonia Gran Reserva from her year of birth. I urge readers to access the video I took of Mercedes explaining the vineyard in her own breathless style. In the meantime, I will crack on with the wines “Wines should talk by themselves,” Maria-Jose enthused to her enraptured audience at a tasting in London. “My father was a vine maker, not a winemaker. Each wine is a reflection of a different land that my great-grandfather bought. Our wines respond to the history of Rioja.” I would add to her comments that since these are mainly aged wines, a bottle of Lopez de Heredia is an individual and each time you meet, you may see a different side to its personality. So treat these reviews as they are: snapshots at a given moment. We commence with their white wines and indeed, I know of several connoisseurs who rate these even better than their reds and I can sympathize with that view. “The white wines were made as a copy of Graves and were made to be aged,” Marie-Jose continued. “So they are made like reds and are harvested at the same time. They undergo skin contact for one, two or three days to absorb the preservative from the skins and pips. Viura gives complexity as it ages.”

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