RIOJA GRAN RESERVA 2001 BY LOPEZ DE HARO
Rioja Gran Reserva 2001 by Lopez De Haro is one of the great vintages of the 21st century. As Vinous says: “Exceptional wines were made, many of which are still drinking beautifully. The wines, which benefited from a long, hot and dry summer are concentrated and well-balanced, with complex bouquets and they display a harmonious interplay of fruit, acidity and tannins. One of the great vintages…”
So, when this famed producer approached us with a sample of today’s 2001 Rioja Gran Reserva in their original wooden cases (OWC), our first question was, “How much of this can we have?” Coming straight from the stone cellars of Bodega Classica, they’ve tried in earnest to hold back old stocks and trickle them out over the years, but there’s no satiating the worldwide demand. The bottles come crated and individually wrapped.
One of the greatest vintages of the 21st century to come out of Rioja. Drinking right now.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak, 2018
RIOJA GRAN RESERVA BY LOPEZ DE HARO 2001: CHARACTERISTICS
BODY / STYLE / OAK / Full-Bodied / Earthy, floral, mineral / Oaked
SWEETNESS / Extra Dry
CELLARING / Drink now or cellar
FOOD PAIRING / Duck breast, Lamb, Red Meat, Roasted Vegetables
TASTING NOTE / “Lovely classic nose of sweet blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry fruit with some spice and vanilla notes. There’s also some leather and sweet damson, too. The palate is sweet and concentrated with lovely intensity, still quite a bit of fruit, and some first signs of maturity: undergrowth, prunes, herbs and leather. Very fine.”
Bodega Classica is an imposing winery atop a hill in the village of Sonsierra in the sub region of Rioja Alta amid the foothills of the Toloña Mountains, a part of the great Sierra de Cantabria range that does so much to protect the Rioja region from the less desirable Atlantic climate from the north.
The 70 year-old vines planted at high altitudes yield small quantities, but exceptionally high-quality grapes. Hand-harvested in October to assure maximum ripeness, the grapes see a period of time in stainless steel tanks before spending more than 30 months in French oak barrels (50% new, 50% used). Then over 15 years of bottle aging in the cellar.
The winemaking is in the classic Rioja style culminating in time in French and American oak with the length of its stay dependant on the status of the wine, eg reserva or gran reserva. The reserva, in which the tempranillo is ably supported by graciano, sees 20 months in barrels before a further two in bottle before release. Bodega Classica release their wines under a variety of labels including Lopez de Haro and Dominum.
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