1973 Berberana Reserva Rioja

SKU #1139681

The 1973 Berberana absolutely stands out as the best 1973 Riojas I have yet tasted. Mixed berry aromas are so intensely fragrant, that I found myself nosing this glass for a very long time. And this was after the bottle had been open for 5 hours! There are scents of dark chocolate, fig confiture, dried orange peel, maybe even a hint of cinnamon? On the palate, the wine is fresh, with delicious fruit, and such effortless elegance about it. At 40 years old, this wine is clearly well into its peak drinking window but, if this bottle is any indication, does not show any sign of retiring anytime soon. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have purchased older Riojas from in the past. They arrived to us in early April, in good condition and ready to, ideally recover a bit longer from their journey prior to being cracked open and enjoyed. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

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Price: $99.99
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Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/6/2017 | Send Email
Every once in awhile we come across a great older cellar in Spain, and have an opportunity to buy pristinely aged older Riojas at very reasonable prices. We've recently had another shipment from a new cellar, and this is one of my favorite wines in the lot. The 1973 Berberana still shows surprisingly tenacious fruit, softened and tempered by a long and thorough savory note. The tannins are wholly integrated to the point of having little influence other than a very slight textural nuance, whereas the acidity is still present, working well as a counterpoint to the fruit and meaty qualities. A very long and persistent finish lingers quite pleasantly on the palate .

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2017 | Send Email
We first had this wine in 2013, with a dollar that was not nearly as strong as it continues to be in 2017! On top of that, we were offered an incredible price this go 'round, so what was $150 (and pretty damn good for that price) is now under $100. Having tasted a bottle from this new shipment, I can attest to the fact that it still stands out as one of the freshest, most delicious and complete 1973 Rioja I have yet to taste. A steal for the price.

Staff Image By: Adam Parry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/21/2013 | Send Email
This wine was really good from the first taste, but a few hours later had evolved even more, which certainly is not always the case with older wines. So, not only does that speak of the wine's quality, but the cellar conditions as well. The bouquet is bright and high-toned with a ripe core of plummy fruit enhanced by notes of leather, licorice, orange peel and a hint of pipe tobacco. On the palate there is fine balancing acidity to still lively fruit component and a long finish.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/19/2013 | Send Email
Again, like I mentioned with the other 1973, this is just legendary wine at a price that, while expensive, is still within reach of many K&L employees if we scrimp and save a bit. In this case, the Berberana is worth every penny. Lots of integrated softness from the tannins and fruit melding together. Lots of complex, aromatic stuff going on. Lots of enjoyment coming from my consumption of this bottle.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/19/2013 | Send Email
When Joe opened these wines for us I was simply amazed at the life left in them. There is still vibrancy here, dusty red fruits with spice and soft wood tones. The palate is still long and intriguing with no sense of decay. Perfectly mature Rioja, and an exceptional buy for a wine of such grace and complexity.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2013 | Send Email
The 1973 Berberana Reserva Rioja has arrived at a moment of complete integration, and is one of the most seamless, ethereal wines that I have had the pleasure of trying. The bouquet conveys a sense of roundness with savory perfume and dark fruit aromas. In the mouth the wine has resolved its tannins and has a velvety, mature texture that few wines ever achieve. The finish is cool and persistent, and I hope to have this wine again with some of the best lamb chops that I can find!

Additional Information:



- 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.