2008 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Cubillo" Crianza Rioja

SKU #1282086 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The first of the reds here is the 2008 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza from a cooler vintage that produced some austere and serious wines--a year with higher acidity and lively fruit. It feels effervescent and it makes you salivate. This is usually a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines that ferments in ancient oak vats, and ages in barrel for three years. This cuvée has increased its quality tremendously since the 1990s. These cooler years provide citric freshness, and a very fine texture and vibrant acidity. This is so easy to drink that it can be dangerous.This was the Rioja clarete fino--the everyday red. It's both elegant and powerful. Very good value, too. (LG)  (8/2016)

91 points James Suckling

 A juicy red with plum, balsamic and spice character. Medium body, soft tannins and fresh finish.  (7/2017)

91 points Vinous

 (aged for three years in American oak barrels) Brilliant ruby-red. Aromas of fresh red berries, cherry pit and pungent herbs, joined in the glass by subtle vanilla and herb nuances. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering lively red currant and bitter cherry flavors that flesh out on the back half. In an energetic style, showing very good finishing energy and smooth tannins framing lingering red fruit. (JR)  (5/2017)

K&L Notes

Cubillo is the youngest Lopez de Heredia wine in the stable, referring to the vineyard of the same name. Here, Tempranillo is grown alongside Garnacha, with a few hectares each of Mazuelo and Graciano. The average vine age is 40 years. Though it is always the most recent vintage of all their wines, it sees two years in used American oak barrels and another two in bottle prior to release, making it nearly old enough to be classified as a Gran Reserva. And while I would rather drink this bright, juicy, traditional Crianza than many Gran Reserva wines, it still retains a relatively youthful personality compared to Lopez de Heredia's more cerebral whites and longer-aged red Reservas and Gran Reservas, which gives it a personality all its own. As per the house style, Viña Cubillo always has particularly bright fruit and more pronounced acidity than other Crianzas. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/2/2018 | Send Email
Lopez de Heredia is without a doubt one of the most traditional wineries in the whole of Spain. It represents to me the very spirit of this fascinating country. THIS is Spanish wine! Call me a purist, old fashioned, and I'll just smile and reach for the nearest bottle of Lopez de Heredia. If you are interested in Spanish wines, I urge you to visit their website. It's very comprehensible and in English. The Cubillo is kind of the "entry level" for Lopez de Heredia, but far from being just a simple wine. This is very velvety, almost reminding me of a Burgundy, with dried cherries, currant sauce and an elegant touch of tobacco. I can imagine how delicious this wine would be with Roasted Pork with currants.

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Varietal:

Tempranillo

- 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.
Country:

Spain

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 13