Regarded by wine lovers, collectors and wine business insiders as one of the great wineries of the world, R. López de Heredia was founded in 1877 and has been run by the López de Heredia family for five generations. It is one the very few family run bodegas left in Rioja. The winery makes highly individual wines in a style essentially unchanged since the beginning. They grow all their grapes using organic methods, ferment using only natural yeasts and do not filter their wines. They are the only bodega left in Spain that makes its own barrels (once common among the quality producers) and employ four full-time coopers. In the barrel their Crianzas are aged like other bodega’s Reservas and the Reservas as long as others’ Gran Reservas. (A Gran Reserva is produced only in the greatest vintages and there are rarely more than three in a decade). Further setting them apart from their peers the wines are then bottle-aged in house, typically 5 – 10 years, and only released when they are judged to be hitting their stride.
In its confident and persistent adherence to traditional methods López de Heredia was once seen as almost eccentrically old-fashioned. Yet in recent years much of wine world, in returning to organic farming practices and ‘natural’ winemaking, is trying to recapture what Lopez never abandoned. Eric Asimov of the NY Times describes this well (as always), “Perhaps no winery in the world guards its traditions as proudly and steadfastly as López de Heredia does, especially in a region like Rioja, which has been swept by profound changes in the last 25 years. And yet, as fusty and as backward-looking as López de Heredia may seem, it is paradoxically a winery in the vanguard, its viticulture and winemaking a shining, visionary example for young, forward-thinking producers all over the world. How is this possible? As López de Heredia has stayed true to its time-honored techniques in the 132 years since its inception, the rest of the wine-producing world has spent decades doggedly trying to improve what it does, only to come practically full circle, ending up where López de Heredia has been all along.”
Viña Bosconia is considered the most Burgundian of the winery’s reds. It is sourced from the 37 acre El Bosque vineyard, planted mostly with Tempranillo and vine age averages 40 yrs. In general, Viña Bosconia wines are elegant but also full-bodied and have structure with great complexity and expression. The Bosconia 2007 has evolved perfectly showing a deep ruby color with slight signature shades of orange. The nose is expressive with mature fruit but also smoky. The palate is round and soft, with plentiful fruit and earth notes, and a full and long finish. Another traditional aspect of López is its modest pricing. Alongside comparable Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo or Barbaresco they are an astounding value, with Crianzas and Reservas coming in from $20 - $50. We just received the Bosconia Reserve 2007 and are offering it now at perhaps the lowest price in the country. A crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving wine? We think so.
Lopez de Heredia Bosconia 2007
Retail Price: $37.99
Sale Price: $29.97
Tim Atkin, 96 pts. – “The Bosconia vineyard, which has always been vinified separately at the winery, has more clay in the soil and tends to produce richer, plumper wines that are priced below Tondonia. This cuvee of Tempranillo with 10% Garnacha and 5% each of Graciano and Mazuelo has caressing sweetness, supple tannins and notes of dill and tobacco. 2019-2028.”
James Suckling, 95 pts. – “A stunning vintage of this Rioja classic. Ripe & concentrated, yet cool & delicate with tons of fine tannin. Lots of earthy, autumnal Burgundy-like nuances, as well as notes of violets & plums. Long, complete finish. Drink or hold”
Past Cellar Selections:
Viña Almaviva 2016 – #10 on Wine Spectator top 100
San Leonardo – The Bordeaux of the Italian North
Find Value in Bordeaux Second Labels
Ceretto Barolo 2015 – Expressing the Terroir of the Langhe
Chateau Léoville Barton – vintages 2010 (100pts!), 2009, 2000
Chateau Prieuré-Lichine 2016 – Classified Bordeaux, 94–96 pts.
Maison Leroy Bourgogne 2017 – $90 for a Bourgogne Blanc? . . . Maybe Yes
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey – Born to Burgundy
Eyrie Vineyards – Benchmark Oregon Pinot Noir
Domaine de Baronarques – A Mediterranean Mouton!
Chateau Montelena - New World but Classically Styled
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou – Like a Rolling Stone?
Gran Enemigo 2014 – 98 pt. Cabernet Franc