Somehow my last bottle of this, I just couldn't stop drinking them. At a great place in evolution, drinking better than the 2001 right now, less overt oak and generally more integrated. Warm, mature, and familiar while showing great interest, fruit, and freshness too. Lots of bottle variability as is typical with LdH, but instead of having a poor year, they just made a wine to enjoy while the other ones rest.
Pulled cork 30 min before dinner at home (but could not decant), and drank over 1.5h. Garnet color showing little evolution. Fairly prominent oxidative notes on nose and palate, similar to what you get sometimes in 20+ year old Sangiovese. Some oak, herbs. Fairly pronounced acidity on the finish, which is of short to medium length. First time having Lopez de Heredia and not a fan of the style.
(Souvenir from visiting the bodega last year) Decanted and then consumed over two hours. Fine and elegant with the hallmark medicinal (penicillin) and cherry notes plus the red earth and American oak; very nice and quite young for what it is. The acidity became increasingly prominent with time -- due to increasing temperature or the the air? A 36 months Marcel Petite Comté was a great match that even improved the wine.
It smells like an oak paneled study full of old leatherbound volumes that have soaked up decades of fine cigar smoke.
On the palate, the taste of black cherries, smoke, leather and wood. Tannins perfectly integrated. Deliciously old school. I should have decanted this because it was by the last glass that this was starting to really, really sing.
P&p; awkward at first, but drinking well with 2.5 hours of air in the bottle. Aromas of sour cherry and barrel, with a bare hint of VA (which works well), and good savory depth and pungency; nice mix of fresh/juicy and oxidative/old barrel/leathery/gamy elements. Gets even better after 4 or 5 hours; fresh and pretty, with floral and clean earthy notes developing. Similar on the palate, with good balance between pleasantly/moderately rich fresh fruit, tart acidity, understated oak barrel, and aged/meaty/savory notes. I haven't had previous vintages, so can't compare; in any case, this is full of character and typicity, and is quite enjoyable. Paired well with seared pork kidney with liberal black pepper and hot mustard.
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