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2011 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Cubillo" Crianza Rioja

SKU #1477049 95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Cubillo spends three years in barrique and then in larger cask to await bottling, which happens two years before the expected release. This is very fresh on the nose with quite fresh, ripe blackberries and dark cherries, mahogany and dry, woody spices. The palate is very powerful, juicy and fresh with clear black cherries and plums in abundance. So fresh, fleshy and deep. The freshness is impressive. Long, shell-like tannins. Drink or hold. Inner quote mark (7/2019)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark It's not easy to follow a 2010, but the 2011 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza improves with time in the glass, showing much better than expected. 2011 was a warmer year than the 2010, and the wine is a little riper but has great balance and very good harmony. It's a noteworthy red for the price asked. 90,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2017. (LG) Inner quote mark (7/2019)

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 we 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. 93 points Tim Atkin "Cubillo is a later-picked site with more clay in the soil and tends to produce the lightest, freshest and most elegant of the López de Heredia reds. Floral, refined and delicately wooded, this is sweet, delicate and almost Pinot Noir-like in terms of its flavours and tannin structure. 2020-25"

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Price: $25.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/5/2020 | Send Email
This is Rioja. Old school, exotic, and complex. There are no other wines in the world, classic or new, that smell and taste like Rioja. I love it! Lopez de Heredia is one of the greatest producers from the region. Their style is the oldest of the old school. They've held onto their traditions—very long aging in very large barrels—while the rest of the region modernized. Their wines are "slow wines" just like "slow food." Like the food movement, the world has started to really appreciate this winery. For me these are the wine equivalents of "grandma cooking," taking a long time to prepare a deep, complex dish. Simple ingredients and time—lots of time. The food that I rarely prepare but always crave. This is the bottling out of all of their reds that gets overlooked the most. I wanted to slow down a moment to bring this wine to everyone's attention. This wine sees enough aging to be classified as a Gran Reserva, but the Spanish market demands that Rioja producers make a Crianza, so this is labeled a Crianza. This wine has a deep evocative nose—think of a 6-hour ragu, or better yet a Middle Eastern stew with its spices backed by a deep savoriness. This is not an old dried out wine, rather the fruit pops, and it is a vibrant mix of macerated cherries, plums and pluots. There is oak, as this is old-school Rioja after all. The mix of sweet cooking/baking spices mixes with leather and dried earthy soil. The aromatic complexity translates to the palate which is very deep—there is a lot of wine here. The fruit, spices, and earth roll over each other as it seems to try to hit every taste bud on the way down. And it lingers, again like a great stew, with a long finish that slowly reveals its true depth and complexity. I have a very emotional reaction to the mix of sweet, tart, spicy, and savory of this wine. It is family dinners and childhood, simple yet complex. And this is just a $25 bottle of wine! I usually have to spend much more to get so wrapped up in a wine.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2020 | Send Email
A fantastic and classic Rioja. It is full bodied and structured with focus and energy. Dry and big with a nice crisp finish. A perfect wine for pork or similar foods.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/25/2020 | Send Email
It seems Rioja can do almost anything asked of it, and arguably no winery leverages that flexibility into more storied production than Lopez de Heredia. Like it's well-known and admired siblings Tondonia and Bosconia, Cubillo is the result of incredible patience and effort, but has an energy and lightness wholly its own. Less stoic, but still serious, the Cubillo is rich and full on the nose, crammed with crushed black and red fruit, coffee, cinnamon, butter and toast. That richness on the nose is balanced by the deft acidity and soft tanins on the palate along with the cool clay notes imparted by the vineyard. Pretty. Darn. Good.

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