Lopez de Heredia - mature Rioja parcel from the region's great traditionalists

Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia are the oldest of old school Rioja producers. They make wine today in pretty much the same way they did when they were established in 1877. You won't find new oak here, and nothing is released until it is deemed ready - which is many years after what is legally required. As a result, their wines are revered classics - a benchmark for a region and a style.

While the 100+ hectare Tondonia vineyard is by far their largest and produces the best known and most widely available wines, they have three other labels made with fruit from separate, smaller vineyards. Of these, Gravonia is white and Cubillo a good value entry-level Crianza, but Bosconia is the one all Lopez de Heredia fans should be looking at. At 15 hectares the vineyard (which is known as El Bosque) it is a fraction of the size of Tondonia, but the quality is outstanding. A Reserva red is made in every vintage, and a Gran Reserva in exceptional years. The blend is pretty much the same as Tondonia, but with slightly more Tempranillo, and while both wines are aged for ten years in total before release (barrel and bottle combined), Bosconia sees one fewer year in oak. This rarer, lesser known wine is the equal of Tondonia in quality terms, and the latest release (2010) will be arriving here shortly.

Viña Bosconia 2010 Reserva is a gorgeous, mature Rioja in the classic Lopez de Heredia style. It has lovely rich, ripe red fruit and all the developed aromas of woodland, leather and spice that lovers of traditional Rioja seek out. It is somehow the perfect wine for autumn.