R. Lopez de Heredia, Viña “Cubillo” Crianza Rioja
Warning: this may become your new favourite Spanish red, and you may need to stock your cellar. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Anything but entry-level! Even though this wine is labeled as a Crianza style, which is a style in Rioja that legally requires less time aging in barrel and bottle before release, and is therefore less expensive and more youthful, the Cubillo, as with all the wines of Lopez, is matured for as long as it takes for the winery to feel that the wine is actually ready to be enjoyed. None of that “it’s still a bit young” nonsense here. Often, the Cubillo, which is the most youthful of the winery’s reds in terms of maturation, will have been aged for 10 years before release!
The winery is also famous for using only 100% American Oak, as was always the tradition in Rioja. This bottling comes from the vineyard called Viña Cubillas, planted at an altitude of 410m, which is where the wonderfully bright aspect of this wine comes from. As with all the reds, this is a blend of estate grown Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano–varieties indigenous to the region. The result of the extra TLC that goes into this wine, and the committment to traditional winemaking that it reflects? An explosively vibrant wine, with both fresh and developed red fruit and floral characteristics, rustic leather and cigar notes and nicely aged medium tannins. This is one of the most classic tastes of true Rioja that you will find. And if you love this wine, just wait until you try it’s fabulous older siblings.
About This Wine
- Clay and limestone
- Sustainable farming
- Grilled steak or charred pork, tapas and charcuterie, hard, salty cheeses