James Suckling 94
"Taking on a balsamic and high-toned wood character to the ripe fruit on the nose. Some dried cheese and ripe fruit, too. Medium-bodied with integrated tannins that are polished and fine. Goes on for minutes. A beautiful, traditional wine, as always. Drink or hold." ~ JS
The Via Bosconia wines are sourced from a vineyard called El Bosque. Situated next to the river Ebro at an altitude of 465m, it is one kilometer away from the winery. Vines are planted on the south-facing foothills of the Sierra Cantabria range, providing them with the perfect conditions for ripening. The soil is a mixture of clay and limestone, and the average age of the vines is 40 years. El Bosque consists of 15 hectares, 11 of which are Tempranillo, 2 are red Garnacho, 1 hectare of Mazuelo and 1 hectare of Graciano.
The Via Bosconia Reserva is made every year in quantities varying from 20,000 to 48,000 bottles. In general, Via Bosconia wines are elegant but full-bodied; have a deep colour and good structure, and are wines with great complexity and expression.
The Reserva wines are "coupage" wines and not vintage wines; they age for 5 years in American oak barrels, and are hand racked around 10 times before they are released to the market. The Gran Reserva wines are single-vintage and made only made in very exceptional vintages, in small quantities and from selected grapes; the amount produced varies from 5,000 to 15,000 bottles. The wines age in barrel for a minimum of 8 years to a maximum of 10 and some of them are hand racked over 20 times. After being fined with egg white directly in the barrel, they are both bottled and corked by hand, and finally waxed so that the cork is protected when they lie in underground cellars for another 10 years before being released to the market.
Lopez De HerediaView all from Lopez De Heredia
Lopez de Heredia - one of the most venerable producers in Spain– produces traditional, age-worthy Rioja. Their wines are legendary and still made the way they were when the winery was founded over 130 years ago. Following a tradition that has been passed down through generations, their wines are released at least 5-10 years after harvest, which provides added complexity and elegance to their Crianzas and Gran Reservas.
A rarity in Rioja, Lopez de Heredia uses only estate bottled fruit from their prized vineyards- Tondonia, Cubillo, Bosconia, and Zaconia- with the idea that the only way to get the best fruit is to care for the vines themselves. The Tondonia vineyard is their most famous; over 100 hectares, it is situated in a shell-shaped depression on the right bank of the river Ebro, where the most typical Rioja wines are grown. The soil is alluvial clay with a high proportion of limestone. Average vine age is 45 years old and organic farming and natural fermentations are implemented, creating wines that exhibit great terroir. Grapes from Viña Tondonia are always used in making their highest quality wines, with truly exceptional vintages becoming Gran Reservas. The first Reserva was bottled by the founder in 1890; a few bottles of this are still kept in the family wine museum.
The winery itself is a remarkable structure. When D. Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta began building the bodega in the late 1800's, little did he realise that his masterpiece would one day be acknowledged as an example to the rest of the industry of the most perfect combination of buildings and vineyards. Like many medieval masterpieces it is still incomplete. The buildings stand below and above ground, and are a veritable "cathedral to wine". Moving through the vaulted underground corridors and staircases, you find yourself travelling back in time, and the founder's touch can still be sensed in the very stones and fabric of the building.