2003 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Bosconia" Reserva Rioja
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(80% tempranillo, 15% garnacha, 3% graciano and 2% mazuelo): Medium red. Ripe red fruit, flowers and spices on the nose, with a smoky nuance emerging with aeration; very fresh for this notoriously hot vintage. Concentrated but not at all heavy, with intense red berry and floral pastille flavors and a deeper note of singed plum. The finish is bright and high-pitched, with lingering cherry and raspberry flavors and a hint of candied licorice.
If you want to learn about the benefits of patience, open a bottle of wine made by Lopez de Heredia. While the majority of Spanish estates rush their wines to market, holding on to them only as long as they legally must to call them Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, Heredia waits, and waits and waits, sometimes upwards of 20 years, releasing their wines at the peak of drinking. This comes from Bosconia, one of the winery's four organically farmed vineyards. It is deep ruby, with orange tints at the rim. The nose is still full of fresh fruit and perfume, with subtle spice and great freshness that belies the incredibly hot vintage that is this wine's source. The New York Times awarded it three stars, calling it: "Delicate, subtle and true, with great balance and finesse." This is perfectly aged Rioja, no cellar required.