López de Heredia Viña Cubillo: the World’s best value wine?

López de Heredia

Viña Cubillo: The world’s best value wine?

'I have adored, indeed occasionally worshipped, the wines of Lopez de Heredia for many years.' – Neal Martin

The 2013 Viña Cubillo Crianza from one of Spain’s most revered producers, 145-year-old López de Heredia, is among the best young reds of the vintage and completely 'overdelivers', writes Wine Advocate. Whilst the Cubillo is meant to be their entry-level wine, it offers up elegance and complexity in spades.

The main difference between López de Heredia and the rest of Rioja is their traditional approach to winemaking. Tempranillo is blended with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, producing a lighter, more ethereal style of red. The grapes are also picked at lower alcohols and aged far longer than the appellation dictates. In fact, their Cubillo Crianza is aged for longer than the legally required minimum for Gran Reserva Rioja!

López de Heredia

The wines of López de Heredia are oxidatively styled, finely elegant, and have a depth of umami flavour that makes them so food-friendly. Viña Cubillo is a blend of 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines and is aged in barrique for three years. 2013 was a cool vintage, with a lot more rain and even hailstorms, which resulted in lower yields, but immense fruit purity and freshness. Is there better value in the wine world?

López de Heredia’s wines have become almost unattainable. Luis Gutiérrez of Wine Advocate agrees, stating: 'The wines are superb, but they are becoming scarce, and I think the situation will get even worse in the future.' Buy them by the caseload, while you can.

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