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2012 López de Heredia "Viña Cubillo" Crianza Rioja

SKU #1536319 95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Wonderful aromas of mushrooms, bark, cigar tobacco and plums with just a hint of citrus. Full-bodied with incredible softness and complexity. Subtle chocolate, fruit and walnut in the aftertaste. Goes on for minutes. Fantastic wine. Classic, textbook Rioja. A joy. Incredible value! Inner quote mark (9/2020)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark I was quite impressed by the 2012 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza, a classical Rioja that is nicely crafted, with less aging in barrel than the rest of reds and therefore with more fruit character and less López de Heredia signature. This was born as a red for tapas, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo with 13.5% alcohol. It matured in well-seasoned American oak barrels for three years. It has ripe fruit (black rather than red) without excess and a pinch of spices and a twist of oak. 94,500 bottles produced. There are seven lots of this. I tasted a bottle that was filled in May 2018. (LG) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Glistening ruby. Spice-accented aromas of red berries, cherry cola and candied rose, plus a smoky nuance in the background. Supple and energetic in style, with a core of zesty acidity adding lift and cut to bitter cherry and red currant flavors that take a sweeter turn through the midpalate. Finishes long and smooth, delivering gentle tannic grip, a snap of peppery spices and repeating florality. (JR) Inner quote mark (4/2021)

K&L Notes

Cubillo is the youngest López 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 López 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.

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Price: $24.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/28/2021 | Send Email
This wine is a window into the magical world of Lopez de Heredia. When one thinks of legendary wineries, Lopez de Heredia is certainly amongst the creme de la creme. Traditional wines that are held back for insane amounts of time before release and are absolute gems. The Cubillo is the entry level red and shows the house style. Give this a bit of air and you get plenty of fruit and complexity with tobacco notes, chocolate covered berries and a terrific streak of minerality and acidity that pulls you back again and again for another glass. This is classic Rioja.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2021 | Send Email
I'm on Kaj with this one. I also have been collecting Tondonia and Bosconia red, white and rose wines for many years. I even have a vertical of the rose. This Cubillo will soon be in my cellar, as well. Moist earth and red plum scents, with spice and orange peel. On the palate, bright acidity brings out the ripe cherry flavors that dominate, for me. The incredibly long finish has orange, a very small bit of white pepper and violets. Finishes quite plush at the back of the throat. This wine is the reason that Kirk is laughing in his employee photo! The hardest decision will be what amount to buy.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/23/2021 | Send Email
Wines from Lopez de Heredia are always ones to watch for quality, and the Cubillo is no exception - there's amazing complexity for the price point here. There are a lot of savory/earthy/herbal notes up front. I pick up on thyme, sage, hay, hops, and fennel. Fruit starts poking its way through shyly yet definitively with qualities of strawberries and raspberries before the wine settles into dark vanilla notes and other subtle spices.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/22/2021 | Send Email
I feel like I'm a lifelong card-carrying Lopez de Heredia fan. I've been buying these wines for myself for longer than I can remember. To be sure, this winery is a critics darling, and the trade just can't get enough. But the fever is real, and these wines are every bit as good as the hyperbole would pitch. I'd wager the Cubilla could hold its own against the Gran Reservas from other producers. This might be the best buy in Rioja. The wine is filled with intensity, energy, and flat-out delicious flavor. It's a shockingly attractive wine. I like to serve mine with a pork tenderloin, but a bone in pork chop will work in a pinch.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2021 | Send Email
Earthy, woodsy, and subtle. Mushrooms, warm forest floor notes, and muted spices are in the foreground with intense dark fruit tones building from behind. The palate is elegant, polished, long, and smooth. Only on the finish do the tannins firm up and the acids start to peek through. The fruit intensity is delivered on the palate. Dark cherry, plums, and dark, tart berries light up the palate then slowly move towards spice, earth, tobacco, and muted oak seasonings. The wine has a great finish. The tannins and acid at the end do not demand food but politely insist on it—what a dinner wine. This is a superb over-achiever, which is something to be said coming from López de Heredia. Drink tonight, or put a case away and treat your future self.

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