Community Tasting Notes (85) Avg Score: 89.6 points

  • Dusky deep red with a little brick at the rim. Smokey vanilla on the nose with some finely etched blue and black berry fruits. One the palate there, there is the smokey vanilla oak as well as these restrained black/blue fruit flavors that are complicated by leather, orange liquor and rich gamey notes. This wine seems distinctly rioja. It has sweet restrained ripe fruit married to animal (leather, game, earth) tones. This is some great stuff. What a fantastic value. Clearly improving when I look back to my first note. Look forward to following this down the road. I am going to be buying more for the cellar.

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  • The first half of this bottle was decanted for an hour and terrific with dinner at Evvia in the company of a goat stew with orzo and some sort of feta-like greek cheese, with the 2nd half strong but not as good now that we are finishing it at home. The nose was fruitier and deeper pitched than expected with forest berries and plum along with peanut shells, blood-orange perfume, and lead, and was followed by a well-balanced palate of red berries and leather. Modest tannic grip extend the flavors without cinching up much in the mouth. The finish has a more simple acidic element that does prefer food. This should last many more years and was well worth $35. I'm a LdH fan. Unfortunately Tempranillo has something that triggers a very mild headache no matter how much or little of it I drink, otherwise I'd build up a bigger cache of these wines in the cellar. A superb showing tonight reminds me why I bother with Rioja at all.

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  • Still bright fruit on the palate and starting to get some depth. Very well balanced.

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  • This bottle absolutely soared from the glass with glorius fruit, balance, depth and finesse. Monster finish. Drinking beautifully now and should do so for many years to come. A wine with lots of soul!

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  • Opened immediately after a '98 proved corked. This bottle was everything I expect from LdH: a beautiful nose featuring bright fruit but with the added complexity of the elevage; a dancer's grace on the tongue; a strong but lean palate with a core of red fruit.

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  • This is drinking really nicely right now. tannins are well integrated but still present. Fruit is mellow but detectable. Nose has distinct smokey aromas. Detectable barbecue smell. Only notable complaint was the acidity which was a little sharp but not a big problem. Overall solid.

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  • This is drinking brilliantly. The tannins have smoothed out, most primary (but not all) fruitiness has faded, the tertiary flavors and aromas have come together. Wonderful balance and it worked very well with grilled steak. This has evolved nicely over the last couple of years and is in a great drinking window.

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  • Decanted for just short of an hour, but this really needed about two hours to really show it's beauty. At first the brightness and fresh character of this wine stood out because of it's age, but with air this started to sing. Leather, spice and fresh blue berries transformed as carmalized fruit tones came forward without ever abandoning the flat out prettiness and extraordinary balance.

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  • Quite red in color for an 11 year old wine. Really appealing though subtle aromas--oak has integrated and developed spice-like characteristics. There's still a nice fruit component on the palate, along with more mature flavors that seem petty well developed to me. Enjoyed this very much.

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  • My first bottle in a year and a half. Wonderful purity and balance on the palate. A great wine in the making. Should last for antother 20 - 30 years.

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  • Very nice, and light on its feet. Oak present but becoming integrated. Lots of leather. Much more balanced and interesting than the vina ardanza of the same vintage.

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  • Brought to New Years Eve dinner at Peruvian BYOB, paired with steak & lobster tail.
    Developing really nicely with more mature flavors getting more prominent. I'm glad I have some more bottles but wish I bought a case when I had the chance. Really nice red cherry flavors, cedar and leather.

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  • Dark red with some hints of orange. Nose more restrained than my first two bottles. Medium bodied with notes red cherry, tobacco and leather. Soft lingering finish.

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  • Picked up this current release after trying a few excellent bottles of the 1998. Popped and poured. Started a bit slow, but steadily added density and complexity in the glass. Lovely mid-weight cherry fruit, a touch of molasses and woodsmoke, earth, baking spices, and dried herbs that build to a moderately long, graceful finish. Elegant, balanced acidity. Seems likely to be a good intermediate-term ager. Classic, even ultra-traditional in style, with no evident oak. Perhaps not quite as good as the 1998 -- the texture isn't quite as silky -- but it's really close.

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  • After my last bottle was corked, this one fortunately showed well. 80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho, and the rest Mazuelo and Graciano. Lovely wine that I opened to go with a dinner of Spanish Cheeses, Serrano Ham, and broiled Shrimp. What makes this wine so good with cheese and Serrano ham is its amazing acidity. Dark plum and red berry fruit with tons of earth, crushed rock, and tree bark on the palate. Silky texture and long finish. Textbook Lopez de Heredia style that emphasizes finesse and elegance, but (at least in this case) does not neglect power, concentration, and laser focus of fruit. A bottle of Rioja that I could never quite own enough of. Although I don't think this is a truly intellectual wine (to drink by itself and be in awe of), I do think this wine begs to be served with food and shows its best in exactly that way.

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  • A very enjoyable bottle of wine, and a lot of wine for the money. Mature and seductive, it entices the palate as well as the heart and mind. Nose of red fruit, earth, mulling spice with a touch of orange and green vegetables. Mellow, smooth dark cherry with a bit of earth, tobacco and cedar. Doesn't show a lot of fruit up front, but it is there on the mid-palate and finish. You can find flaws if you want to, but I think this provokes thought and comfort, which most wines in theis price range fail to do at this level.

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  • A couple of my bottles have been off even though they have been stored very well. Wine seems to be losing fruit quickly. I hope this is a bottle problem and not a vintage one.

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  • Mature, complex, masculine. This is a wine to think about.

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  • Skunked

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  • Very well balanced and integrated. Smooth, even fruit from beginning to end of every taste. I wholly agree with other reviewers who note lightness of touch in the winemaking. Nothing heavy handed in the flavor and still fresh and lively.

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  • Drinking beautifully right now with gentle, elegant red fruited flavours framed by developed leather, cedar and herbal elements. There's a sense of real finesse and a lightness of touch here, lovely balance and this is a wine I really should get some of.

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  • Transparent ruby with lite/medium viscosity in the glass. Soft nose of black cherry, must and secondary cedar. Medium/lite bodied with soft red fruit and dusty tannin on the palate. I decided to pair it with spicy tacos where it showed an appealing acid structure and pop of cherry cola. Nice! Medium finish.

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  • Decanted for one hour. Great aroma of red fruit that is very inviting. First sip introduced an odd flavor of bitter orange peel. After a bit the flavors were more tame. Nice tart fruit that was finished with a dry, tannic finish. The wine was a bit austere alone. However, with a meal of duck confit, it was ideal. The wine grew more intriguing after a few hours. Old world/Old school -- very satisfying.

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  • This is just so tasty. Fresh and light on its feet, really transporting in its sense of place.

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  • Seriously nice. Earth, spice and some red/black fruit. Nice mouthfeel and density. Really like this. Will last for at least 5 more years (and possibly quite a bit more than this)

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  • CORKED. Disappointing as I think this would have been very good.

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  • Corked. Very inconsistent bottles.

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  • Consistent with previous TN. Drinking very nicely without any signs of decline. Great acidity give this a very clean, refreshing mouthfeel. Medium bodied with nice red cherry fruit, earthiness and a little spice on the finish. Great QPR. No rush to drink these as it should last a while longer.

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  • Classic old style Rioja. Not much heft to it, more like Pinot weight. A reticent nose but pleasant on the palate. Not much life left in it but nice now. Drink up.

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  • Consistent with previous note.

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  • I have had four bottles since I purchased this in August of 2009 and each bottle is better than the previous. Last night's was outstanding. Round and delicious on the palate. Beautifully balanced and pure. Delicious!

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  • Very nice. Rustic medium bodied with restrained notes red cherry, cloves, tobacco leaves toasted cedar and a hint of brett that gave it a little more old world character. Nicely balanced with a finish that lingered soft and smoothly. Paired wonderfully with Paella mixta.

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  • Consistent with previous note. Our first bottle in eight months.

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  • Tempranillo tasting (Weygandt Wines, DC): A refined nose with a nice pitch. hints of sweet spice and cherry. With more air, the sweet spice (nutmeg, cardamom) continues to flourish. Lots of lovely red fruit on the palate with a smooth and delicate finish. A high quality wine in a good drinking place.

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  • Nose of cherry, funk, spices. Palate of sour red cherry, red raspberry, funk.

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  • Dios, Mio, Tempranillo! (Weygandt Wines - Washington, D.C.): light ruby colored. i get nutmeg and christmas spices on the nose. very elegant. smooth and wonderfully silky. rich fruit, and some obvious oak, but the elements have come together in a smooth and balanced way. soft, lingering finish.

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  • Beautifully aromatic, cherry, forest floor, rich oak in that good Rioja way. Light to medium body and wonderfully silky. Extremely long finish. Cherry and herbal, floral notes come and go as this changes in the glass and on the palate. Amazing experience, wonderful at this price. Why don't I have more of this? Drinking so well now, I was expecting something tasting younger but this is pretty great right now.

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  • So good and tasty- such a great ~$30 bottle of wine. Highly recommend- great with or without food.

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  • Drunk at Haro. After one hour taking a breath. Cherry colour for a wonderful nose plenty of cinnamon, sandalwood, clove and, of course, vanilla aromas. Lovely meaty. Still a high acidity that is needing more time to intrigate. What a vintage! I can hardly wait for next Viña Tondonia 01. This bottle, at this point, close to perfection. Outstanding.

    Bebido en Haro. Después de una hora respirando. Color cereza para una maravillosa nariz llena de aromas a canela, sandalo, clavo y, por supuesto, vainilla. Ricamente cárnico. Por su alta acidez necesita mas tiempo. Menuda añada! Casi no puedo esperar para el siguiente Viña Tondonia 01. Esta botella, en este punto, cerca de la perfección. Un señor vino.

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  • Nice nose of dark cherry and a little cigar box and earthiness. Light to medium bodied with lots of sour cherries and a little cranberry. Very good acidity and minerality. Finish is medium with a little black tea and spice at the very end. Tannins were well integrated. On day 2 it had added a little weight and drank just as nicely. Very good wine which should drink nicely for several years.

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  • Had it with dry rub grilled pork chops.
    Initial funk on the nose and palate. That blows off and resolved after about 1 hour. Good smokey cherries, a nice earthy component, some leather and some nice flavors of aging. Good balance to this wine and it seems like it can age for a while longer which should not be surprising since it is a gran reserve.

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  • Somber nose of dark red fruit, sweet soil, but marred by oak and a bit of heat. Tightly coiled primary flavors with more dark fruits, iron and finishing earthiness. This is young to be sure, but the oak treatment is apparent and while I would expect it to integrate further with time, this is not as much my style as the more resrved Tondonia.

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  • nose - sour cherry, red fruit, earth. fragrant
    mouth- drinking gorgeous and oh so smooth at the moment - very mellow. mostly it reminds me of visne, ie sour cherry, esp on the midpalate and finish. reminds me of my aunt's sour cherry jams. i also get coconut. good acidity, and still with considerable tannins. This is a fine wine in the sense of elegance. Not at all a blockbuster, but a terrifically balanced beverage and great accompaniment to food. I may be scoring it conservatively

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  • Mother's Day 2010

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  • The definition of a balanced wine. Garnet color, light, almost transparent top edge. Paired with a range of appetizers - cheese, chorizo, nuts. Not flashy, just very, very good.

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  • beautiful medium body classic rioja. Drinking well.

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  • color: garnet, especially around the rim, thin watery white miniscus, medium transparency
    nose: med+ intensity, very carmelized fruit nose of dried/burnt cherries, tea leaves, toffee,
    palate: dry, acid is lively med+ tannin soft and low, body med alc est 13 (it is 13), finish is med+ and tar, chewey toffee, dried cherries, stewed red fruit ...

    This is an obvioously older wine from its color and palate ... It has finesse and a good structure despite its near decade, med+ length, good concentration of fruit and integration of elements such as acid, oak, which allowed it to age for so long Complexity of flavors, combined with its abillity to have improved with age, and its typicity, mark it as a quality wine.

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  • Awesome stuff that hooks you in with its aromatics; bright cherries accented by subtle leather, smoky and floral notes. Light on its feet and very elegant with a polished, suave texture and the acidity giving the flavours a sense of incredible freshness. Delicious.

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  • There arn't too many $25 dollar Riojas out there so I was excited to try this one. Nice brick color with a little age on the rim. Gave it a 2 hour decant. Muted nose but beautiful tart cherry, oak, sherry flavors. Perfect balance. (which always merits a high score for me.) A little on the thin side, but you have to expect that from tempranillo. Lovely wine. Served with garlic lime flank steaks. This is a great wine to stock up on as it pairs nicely with food.

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  • This was cool. Floral, herbal with red fruit. Very pronounced nose. Full bodied with long length. Delicious.

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  • Slightly light brownish red. Some cherry, spice, earth, slight tobacco - really well balanced and well integrated - really enjoyable. Great wine.

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  • Showing similarly to the 2000 Tondonia Reserva, with a little more intensity, if a bit less finesse. Fuller, rounder red fruits here, perhaps a little broader and a shade simpler. Better than my last taste of this. 92+ A little soy sauce on the nose with the round red fruits, with a little time in the glass.

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  • Nose of red fruits, earth, dried herbs. Well-balanced and lighter on the palate than a typical rioja, with the same elements as on the nose as well as sour cream and spice. Tannins were restrained, lacking the dusty tannic finish of some Riojas. Delicious all around.

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  • Semi-transparent brownish red in the glass. The nose reminded me of something from the Rhone - garrigue, dried herbs, earthy fruit. It was relatively light and lively on the palate, with some iron and sappier fruit. It was simply delicious from beginning to end. Fantastic, especially for the money.

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  • Just as riveting as the CVNE Imperial Reserva. Lighter on its feet than the Imperial, but incredibly explosive on the palate. Perfect balance, amazing finesse, lovely elegance. Spice, red fruits, earth, dried herbs. This Rioja is simply phenomenal and will last for many more years.

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  • There's something about these wines that really appeals to me, and every time I smell and drink one I'm transported to Rioja. The classic woody nose, that's a bit tough, but delicate at the same time. The smooth feel yet slightly tart, light, and finessed taste (maybe a bit thin or glassy). To me it's got great balance, isn't over the top in concentration, or juiciness or oak, and is great by itself or with a nice meal. All that and for the price (under $30), you get a 9 year-old wine that clearly defines it's region.

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  • Second time in a week. Nice medium intensity cherry, leather and damp cellar on the nose. On taste an intense beam of juicy cherry fruit. Nice balance with the acidity and the tannins seem well integrated. A decent finish with the flavors lingering for a long time. Great wine and a steal at the price point.

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  • Delicious LdH. Tight cherry fruit, notes of dry earth, grass, preserved lemon. Light through the middle ("transparent" said Scott), allowing access to all the flavors. Great with food or without.

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  • This one was not as good as the others I have had. More fruit, less complexity - a bit linear. Still pleasant though.

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  • Served at 63 degrees without decanting. Translucent dark ruby in color. Nose of red fruit and earth. Acidic. Medium weight. Restrained tannins. Tart cherry and spice. It opens up and the fruit moves more forward as the evening rolls on. Very good wine. Will buy more.

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  • Light garnet. Chinese five spice, leather and sweet tomato juice on the nose, maybe a hint of va which only adds to the fine burgundian quality. Light, but round and very persistent with juicy cherry, cranberry, tobacco and a mature gaminess. Great value.

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  • Plummy on the nose, deep and rich, slightly nutty, minerals; fullish, dry but rounded, rich, well-structured, tannins slightly drying; good length.

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  • Tasted a bit different from when I tasted this at the store, but nonetheless is showing very classic Lopez de Heredia profile - cigar box, exotic spice, very slight gaminess/band aid. The acidity is higher and more tangy than I remembered; to the point of being a shade harsh if sipped alone on day 1. On day 2, smoother on its own, and most of all, the acid worked well with food (coq au vin with mushrooms, mashed potatoes in this case) - cutting through nicely. As the night wore on, the spice became more aromatic. Enjoyable now if you give it some time to open, but on the whole I would recommend to cellar this - in this I can see the hints of what this will become - showed commonalities with the '76 I tasted a few months ago, at a very young stage. 90 now, up to 92ish many years down the road.

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  • I returned this wine to K&L as corked, but the guy there said it was not. Assuming so, this wine is really as close to corked as it could get. It had a brownish red (well it is 8yr old) color, pretty light and clear though, and it had some smokiness. If it was not corked this must have been extremely wet wood taste with some lightly smoky aroma (ala port) but still the ugliest Rioja I ever had. I hope it was corked. The K&L guy gave me two different bottles as replacement, and the one I had first - $10 cheaper then this wine - was really good with nice acidity mid-heavy weight and sweet tannins. It's called Vigna Magna, crianza from Ribera del duero vintage 2002. (Editor's note: marking as flawed)

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  • Found it hard to drink: acidic and bright with sickly almost barnyardy fruit.

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  • Took about 30-60 minutes to open but once it did, revealed the feminine/silky texture I've come to associate with Bosconia. Bouquet seemed more complex than the palate, but the fruit was beautiful with oak playing a supporting role at this young stage of the wine.

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  • Killer wine. Highly recommend- went great with Turkey and Ham on Thanksgiving.

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  • An evening of López de Heredia wines (Islington, London): Round, fresh, but indistinct boiled sweet red fruit nose, tired and sickly, I thought

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  • Burgundy-like acid, with distinctively Spanish woody tannin and a light palate of smoked cranberries and a green element; like curley parsley or fennel fronds.

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  • What can you say about this - required drinking from one of the most indispensable producers on the planet. This is showing gorgeous juicy red fruit and woodspice on both the nose and the palate; oak is showing right now making this feel more modern than you expect from Lopez de Heredia, but underneath you can taste the spice, tobacco, leather and earth that will really come out when this has age on it. A slight porty oxidative hint showed on the nose, but I'm not worried given the house style - I know this will last. Palatewise, I could completely draw the connection between this and a 1976 Bosconia Gran Reserva tasted several weeks ago. Delicious now too though, so at the price this goes for, I may just have to drink at least one every year to follow this. 92+.

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  • Delicious. Drank with Beef stew and comped with Conterno '97 and Croix de Beucailliuy '05.

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  • Slow to open on night one. It is fairly concentrated and dark for Bosconia, with a nose that remains fresh despite the oxidative wine making. Juicy dark fruit cut by piercing acidity on the palate. A lengthy finish with plenty of acid again. I bit tight / light on the palate. On night two this is much more open, the fruit is much more developed and it is clearly improved. Sappy red fruits, woodsy aromas, sweet rich penetrating palate and persistant sweet red fruit and cinnamon on the finish. If you like Bosconia, this appears to be a great vintage in the making, as would be anticipated, and should provide a long future of great drinking. I'll put away a stash and forget about them for 5-10 years.

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  • After reading much about this producer, I had to experience it for myself. The promise of old world rustic wine-making is alluring to me.

    Very dark hued with a hint of brown. Medium bodied … its not rich in fruit, but definitely not light. A bit acidic upon opening, but blew off a little with air.

    I really like the nose of damp earth, but on the palette it felt relatively simple. There's some sweet fruit and rustic minerals, but otherwise a little boring. The balance is there, and very smooth with no tannins sticking out … I can see this gaining a burgundian elegance with age, just not sure it'll be particularly complex. Finish was a little short and a bit tart, but weighty and tasty. As far as flavour go it is right up my alley with its mix of tobacco, cedar and spices, but I feel the acidity needs to tone down a bit and for more subtle flavours to reveal themselves to be outstanding. 88

    Day 2 - Acidity became integrated and the finish has become smoother while retaining the nice animal earth and spice notes. Excellent. 90

    Day 3 - Still going strong, but less elegant and brawny tannins seem to be taking over.

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  • Bareled for 6 years in old oak which is much longer than the regulation required in Rioja (which is three years maturation of which one year must be in cask). It is pale brick red in colour. Have soft strawberry flavour. With its low acidity and low tannins, this is an easy drinking wine. However, if you like wine which is full-bodied or having more complex flavour, then this wine probably wouldn't fit you!

    More details for comparing traditional style Rioja and modern style Rioja in below URLs.

    http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/hkwine-blog/article?mid=1
    http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/hkwine-blog/article?mid=5

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  • Excellent bottle. dusty, mature nose, sweet core of fruit. Very fine botte

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  • Bien con la aireación.

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  • The nose seems a little advanced but with Plum, beef stock, Caramel, vanilla and a bit of charred wood. On the palate it shows cranberry fruit with rose petals and minerally earth. A medium bodied wine that seems really tight right now with a lot of acidity. It seems to shut down your palate a bit and didn't go very well with the food on this night.

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  • España Tasting (Wine Exchange. Orange, CA): Translucent ruby/orange color. Lots of aged wood on the nose. Not as thin as the previous wine (Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2003)--more extracted. Tastes a little like pickled fruits with some woodiness. Would be very complementary to a meal. Good length, finesse and classic old-world Rioja style. Could use a little more punch and extraction, but for $30 it seems like a good QPR if you want to learn about this region. (This is the current release--2001 in 2009).

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  • Much better showing than my last bottle. The flavor is still simple and a little stripped, but the suavity of the texture alone makes it something compelling enough to keep coming back to.

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  • Decanted but drank immediately. Soft cherry and sweet spice with a nice blend of dusty earth and leather on the nose. This carries over onto the palate with sauteed mushrooms and a touch of molasses out of the finish. Still holding a nice acidic zip to it, but not enough that I would feel comfortable sitting on this for more than another couple of years. While it did improve with air on night one, I left half of it in the bottle for the next day and it had fallen apart quite a bit (however it was warm that day and so sitting on the counter in an 80-85 degree house probably was the culprit here). Interesting to me how I found a lot of the same characteristics in this wine that the previous tasters did, but found it to be utterly feminine, elegant, flavorful and enjoyable. Great QPR and I will definitely buy again.

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  • Algo falto de persistencia por eso penaliza.

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  • Even better. Similar to an old classic Barolo.

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  • Maybe I've been spoiled by too many Gran Reservas, but I found this bottle a disappointment. It has the elegant, streamlined texture I love about Bosconia, but it didn't offer much else beyond that. In the GRs that texture serves as the feminine veneer to something rich and evocative underneath, but here there just isn't much there, just soft apply fruit. Probably that would not have bothered me so much if it didn't also taste slightly oxidized and tainted by volatile acidity. I will give my other bottles a few months to rest and hope they show better.

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  • Red brownish color
    Horse, stable and autumn fruit on the nose
    Taste: strong acidity, animalic and ripe fruits
    Pretty lingering

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  • Soft flowery nose. A spicy wine with pretty strong cherries, oak and more subtle cloves on the tongue. I am getting a slightly sour bite mid-palate. This is an interesting wine. Could be a 90 pointer, but a bit disjointed. I would like to try another bottle before scoring this one. Maybe others can comment.

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