2007 Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Vina Bosconia, Spain -photo grapelive

2007 Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Vina Bosconia, Spain.
The refined and mature tasting 2007 Vina Bosconia is a silky and pleasing Rioja made by the classic Lopez de Heredia is a real winner in the price point with loads of dried and fresh red fruits, spice, texture and delicate floral notes. López de Heredia hasn’t changed much the more than 130 years since its founding, it is an ultra traditional producer that has stayed true to its house style without any nod to modern fashion, these are not flashy wines, but wines of soulful elegance without compromise. in fact, the Bodega López de Heredia is owned by the same family who founded it, with Maria José, Mercedes and Julio César, the latest generation running the show seamlessly and with respect to their ancestors. López de Heredia produces a beautiful range of wines, including a collection of Crianzas and Reservas with red, white and rosé offerings, plus a series of Gran Reservas in great years, with this Vina Bosconia Crianza being a favorite of mine, especially for the price. Bosconia is always Tempranillo based, usually in the highest percentage and has that character and profile with red cherries, plum, raspberry and baked red peach notes along with an grilled orange notes, as well as cedar, minty herb, tobacco and leathery earth, gaining wilted roses, dried currants and the structure is held together with opulent, soft tannin. This is wine that is much better off with food that matches its style, this wine is heading into a mature and lightness of form that deserves consideration and should be admired with the right pairing, in this case sleep cheeses, roast poultry, less robust dishes and or delicately flavored meats.

Lopez de Heredia believes in extended elevage (barrel aging) with a bare minimum of three years in barrels and with many wines getting close to 10 years in cask, this one gets between 3 and 5 years, depending on vintage with all American oak being employed. The primary fermentation is done in large oak vats and includes daily pump overs and lasts about a week before the wine is raised in the Bordeaux sized American barrels all with a traditional oxidative style that leads to round soft wines and wine that have a track record of long lives. The medium bodied Bosconia comes from the Rioja Alta zone which gives this wine its balance with the cooler nights giving natural acidity, sourced from a vineyard called El Bosque, located close to the river Ebro, but with high elevation in the south-facing foothills of the Sierra Cantabria range. The soils here are a combination of clay and limestone, and these vines, which include mostly Tempranillo, in the Bosconia that translates to about 90% in the final blend, plus Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano with an average of 40 years. The 2007 isn’t one of the most critically acclaimed vintages and while the 2004, 2005 and 2006 versions were more impactful and richer, the 2007 still delivers a poised performance and is easy to enjoy and is a great way to get started with this famous estate. The white and rosé also get long barrel aging and are incredibly intriguing wines, though of course the reds are what people look for with Lopez de Heredia with Bosconia being a middle of range bottling, with their signature Vina Tondonia Reserva, a vineyard they purchased back in 1913, being the biggest prize in their masterful collection. This is a wine to savor over the next 3 to 5 years, and though it might not be their most impressive, it is a lovely wine that will bring smile all around the table, drink up.
($30 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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