1970 Bodegas Franco Españolas "Royal Tete de Cuvee" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1112144

This is a fantastic bottle of mature Rioja from the very good 1970 vintage. Sourced from a private cellar located way up north, near San Sebastian and the Cantabrian Sea (if you've ever spent time here, you know that it is generally a very cool, humid part of Spain - perfect cellar conditions), this is still drinking great. Sweet and savory aromas suggest red cherries and braised meat, definitely with a subtle touch of dill and pimenton as well. It's a classic aromatic profile for fully mature Rioja. On the palate, there is great balance, depth and purity of flavors, with the truffled nuances and silken texture that only a carefully aged wine from one of the world's great wine regions can deliver. If you are seeking out bottles from 1970, I would put this towards the top of your list. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

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Price: $149.99
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Staff Image By: Leah Greenstein | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/12/2012 | Send Email
This is the wine I want to sit and savor after the birth of my second child in April. Frankly, I can't believe I had the good fortune to taste this wonderfully aged gem (and I was extra annoyed to have to spit it out). Scents of orange zest, leather, spice and roasted hazelnuts give way to a palate that smacks of dates, cocoa nib, leather and orange zest. There's still wonderful acidity, and a sexy burnt sugar, saffron quality on the finish.

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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.