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Vina Cubillo Rioja Crianza, Lopez de Heredia 2013

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garnacha, grenache, tempranillo

Tasting Notes

I drank this wine at Christmas and my goodness it was truly wonderful. I had two bottles, and each was different. I take this as a good sign, as the wine is unfiltered, and living, and each bottle will vary. But both were superb. One was a bit more floaty, grand cru like and the other a bit fuller and viscous. Vina Cubillo is the younger sibling of the iconic Vina Tondonia and  Vina Bosconia. Aged for 3 years in old American Oak, it is drinking beautifully now. We asked José Luis, husband of Maria-José, what was the reason for the Cubillo 2013 being so good. And as we've found with a few other wines over the years, it's a story of triumph over adversity and has resulted in this spectacular wine. More than 100,000 kilos of grapes (more than 1/4 of the expected production) were discarded and whatever entered the cellar was simply excellent. So, 2013 is a very good example of beautiful, deep and complex wines in an ugly year, as well as the influence of persons in wine beyond the vineyard and the nature. Father, Pedro López de Heredia, died in April 2013 and everybody's spirit was rather down. The year weather-wise was not easy either yet they challenged themselves to make the best possible wine as an homage to the person who had meant so much to the winery over the past fifty years. 

More Info

You read a lot of marketing fluff about ‘family winemaking tradition’, but at López de Heredia it’s real. Maria José López de Heredia and her winemaker sister, Mercedes, couldn’t care less about wine fashions. Their bodega in Barrio del Estacion in Haro is a living museum - cobwebbed Miss Havisham barrel rooms, black furry mold everywhere, little old men doing the same job that their father did decades before... this winery reeks of tradition.


“Tobacco scented and just glorious. Rosehips, roses, hibiscus, quince, compote, tobacco. Just glorious (she says, again). The acidity on this… down my spine. A wraith of vanilla pod, of smoke. A wine of memories, pages turned, garden paths wandered in autumn, soft spices, kitchen in the shaft of late afternoon light. It may be their 'fresher/less serious' cuvée, but make no mistake, this is every inch a class act.”
Tamlyn Currin,

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