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Lopez de Haro Classica Gran Reserva, Rioja 2001

Red Wine from Spain - Rioja
From one of the best Rioja vintages in recent decades, this is perfumed, smoky and mellow. A special Spanish wine to match special times.
Price: £28.00 Bottle
Price: £168.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: SP15941

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Tempranillo
  • 14% Alcohol
  • Bouquet/flavour marked by oak
  • Now to 2022
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Rioja

Rioja sits shielded in northern Spain between the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. Both of these rocky ranges play their part in creating a suitable climate for the production of fine wines, shielding the region from cold winds from the Atlantic and hot winds from the Mediterranean.

Rioja is split into three sub-regions, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.

Rioja Alavesa - Bounded in the north by the craggy Sierra de la Cantabria and in the south by the Ebro river, and sitting in the foothills of the former, Rioja Alavesa feels a distinct Atlantic influence on its weather, despite the protection of the mountains. It has twice the rainfall of Rioja Baja to the south-east and enjoys cooler temperatures on average. The classic Rioja mainstay tempranillo is king here and makes up more than 80% of plantings, supported by garnacha, mazuelo (aka carignan elsewhere) and graciano for red wines, and viura, malvasia and...

Rioja sits shielded in northern Spain between the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. Both of these rocky ranges play their part in creating a suitable climate for the production of fine wines, shielding the region from cold winds from the Atlantic and hot winds from the Mediterranean.

Rioja is split into three sub-regions, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.

Rioja Alavesa - Bounded in the north by the craggy Sierra de la Cantabria and in the south by the Ebro river, and sitting in the foothills of the former, Rioja Alavesa feels a distinct Atlantic influence on its weather, despite the protection of the mountains. It has twice the rainfall of Rioja Baja to the south-east and enjoys cooler temperatures on average. The classic Rioja mainstay tempranillo is king here and makes up more than 80% of plantings, supported by garnacha, mazuelo (aka carignan elsewhere) and graciano for red wines, and viura, malvasia and garnacha blanca for whites. Chalk and clay soils proliferate. Generally, the wines of Rioja Alavesa are considered the most finely balanced of Rioja reds.

Rioja Alta - Elegant reds are considered the hallmark of Alta wines. A great chunk of the major producers are based in Rioja Alta, concentrated on the town of Haro. Warmer and a bit drier than Alavesa, it also enjoys slightly hotter, more Mediterranean influenced summers and has a range of clay based soils. The reddish, iron rich clays provide a nurturing home for tempranillo while those bearing a chalkier element support the white viura well. Alluvial soils closer to the river are often home to malvasia for blending in to whites. In this area mazuelo is a regular addition to Rioja blends, providing some tannic sinew and beefing up the colour, and the reds here will often take a more significant underpinning of oak.

Rioja Baja - Most of Rioja Baja is south of the Ebro and further south and east of its neighbouring sub-regions. Summers in Rioja Baja are more often than not very warm and dry, with vineyards at lower elevations than its neighbours. Consequently soils are predominantly silt and other alluvial deposits with little chalk present, and garnacha reigns supreme among the red varieties because of its ability to deal almost effortlessly with the heat. As a rule, reds from Baja are higher in alcohol and less elegant than in Alavesa and Alta, though of course there are always exceptions and particularly so as viticulture and winemaking improves with every passing year.

RIOJA CLASSIFICATIONS AND STYLES EXPLAINED

The official Rioja classification is a guarantee of the amount of ageing a wine has undergone. Usually the best wines receive the longest maturation but this does not guarantee quality, which is why it is just as important to follow producer.

Crianza: Minimum two years (with at least 12 months in barrel)
Reserva: Minimum three years (at least 12 months in barrel)
Gran Reserva: Minimum five years (at least 24 months in barrel)

What can be confusing is that producers use different ageing techniques (for example some might use American oak, others French, others a mix of both) which will influence the style, structure and flavour of the wine. To help you find the style you like we have split the wines into the following designations.

Traditional: Fragrant, silky wines from long ageing in cask (usually American oak) and bottle; ready to drink on release.

Modern-classical: Younger, rounder wines that retain the delicious character of Rioja through cask ageing (often a mix of American and French oak) with the structure to develop in bottle.

Modern: Richer, velvety wines aged for less time in newer (usually) French oak; released earlier and may need keeping.

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Bodega Classica

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 influences from the north.

At this positively shiny modern facility, built in 2006, all the grapes harvested from their surrounding 70 hectares of vineyards are gravity fed into vats and presses without the need to use intrusive pumps. Even the winery’s situation atop a hill is all part of the plan as it allows for air circulation to play a natural role in the temperature control of the complex and the cellars that are built into the hill below, again for the ease of temperature control that this naturally affords. It is attention to detail in such matters that amply illustrates the desire of Bodega Classica to produce high-quality wines.

Ricardo Arambarri manages the estate under the umbrella of a larger group called Vintae, established by his father, Riojan businessman and wine-lover José Miguel Arambarri Terrero, which operates winemaking projects in six other Spanish regions. They chose the area of Sonsierra for this particular project because they believe that the poor but well drained limestone-clay soils at 500-600 metres altitude up in the foothills provide a perfect terroir for old vine tempranillo, grown on bush-vines and hand-harvested at low yields.

The winemaking is in the classic Rioja...
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 influences from the north.

At this positively shiny modern facility, built in 2006, all the grapes harvested from their surrounding 70 hectares of vineyards are gravity fed into vats and presses without the need to use intrusive pumps. Even the winery’s situation atop a hill is all part of the plan as it allows for air circulation to play a natural role in the temperature control of the complex and the cellars that are built into the hill below, again for the ease of temperature control that this naturally affords. It is attention to detail in such matters that amply illustrates the desire of Bodega Classica to produce high-quality wines.

Ricardo Arambarri manages the estate under the umbrella of a larger group called Vintae, established by his father, Riojan businessman and wine-lover José Miguel Arambarri Terrero, which operates winemaking projects in six other Spanish regions. They chose the area of Sonsierra for this particular project because they believe that the poor but well drained limestone-clay soils at 500-600 metres altitude up in the foothills provide a perfect terroir for old vine tempranillo, grown on bush-vines and hand-harvested at low yields.

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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2001 vintage reviews

Richmond & Twickenham Times

A new one on me, but put me down for a case because this is a stunner and from a cracking vintage. Sour cherries, deep autumn fruits and a lovely hint of cigar boxes on the finish.

- Gerard Richardson

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