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, “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 2006 is now entering peak drinkability. The nose is elegant and enveloping with red fruit, herbes de provence, earth and tobacco. The palate is a complex, layered mix of dark berries, more earth, with the intensity and length that is typical for a Bosconia. It should evolve subtly over the next ten years. Another traditional aspect of López is its modest pricing. Alongside comparable Bordeaux, Burgundy or Barolo, they are an astounding value, with Crianzas and Reservas coming in from $20 - $50. Our price here for the Bosconia ‘06 is perhaps the lowest in the country. You can think of it as that rare thing, an ‘everyday’ fine wine.
Lopez de Heredia Bosconia 2006
Retail Price: $39.99
Sale Price: $33.97
Wine Advocate, 94 pts. – “The 2006 Viña Bosconia Reserva, always more rustic and powerful than the Viña Tondonia, was cropped from a warm and early harvest and is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. This wine matures in used American oak barrels for five years. It has a very developed nose, and as winemaker Mercedes López de Heredia noted, "It could be confused with a Gran Reserva, as I see it more tertiary and developed." These are amazing wines, clean and complex, with polished tannins and surprisingly good acidity. I have the idea of 2006 as a warmer vintage, but it's not true throughout Rioja; as I've seen with other wines, like the ones from Muga, in this cooler part of Rioja, the vintage was much better. There are some dusty tannins and some flavors that still remind you of fresh fruit.”
James Suckling, 94 pts. – “This is a rich and silky red that seduces you with its silky tannins and subtle bouquet of red currants, plums, cedar and autumn leaves. Yet there are some serious tannins in here that build on the long elegant finish. Drink or hold.”
Past Cellar Selections:
Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – Selected Bottles
Shafer Vineyards – Relentless, One Point Five and Chardonnay
Paul Jaboulet – Majestic Wines from the Northern Rhone
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey – Magic in Burgundy
Don Melchor 2015 – 98pts!
Domaine Lapierre - The Original Natural Winemaker
Muga ‘Selección Especial’ 2015 – Classic Rioja
Domaine A. et P. de Villaine – Budget DRC?
Three Oderros: for the Picnic Table, the Dinner Table and the Cellar
Castilla Ygay 2010 – at 98 pts a ‘First Growth’ Rioja
Chateau Troplong Mondot St. Emilion 2017 – 98pts!
More Great Brunello from 2015 – 99pts Casanova di Neri
Burgundy with age from Jean Chauvenet
Cornas and Côtes-du-Rhone from Franck Balthazar
Quintessa 2016 – 98pt Bordeaux Blend from Napa