Friday, September 5, 2014

Wines of La Vuelta Stage 13: Lopez de Heredia Blanco 2004

Belorado - Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno 188.7 km
The stage:One for a breakaway? Maybe. Inrng and Podium Cafe suggest Philippe Gilbert. Our breakaway of the day:

With 78 kilometers remaining, their gap was 2:45. Courtesy of the Cycling News live race updates we have word that there are bears ahead "The word reaching us the Parque de Cabárceno is that some 60 bears will have a grandstand view of the finish from their field at the far side of the barriers." If I were more awake, there would be an excellent joke to be made. 
Three abandonments today: Brett Lancaster, Fischer and Van Den Broeck.
Fifty-six kilometers to go and the gap was still 2:30. Under fifty kilometers to go and the break starting to come apart, leaving only five out front. Orica continued to lead the chase behind.  Twenty kilometers to go and their gap was just over one minute. But they would be caught. As they got closer to the line a late attack by Daniel Navarro would succeed, giving him the stage win.

Stage: Daniel Navarro
GC: 1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 48:59:23
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:20
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:08
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:20
5 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:35
6 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:01:52
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:13
8 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:02:37
9 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:55
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:03:51

Wine: Lopez de Heredia Blanco 2004 
From Frankly Wines $27.99
Always a classic - sometimes it doesn't always need to be latest, greatest, coolest

Read this article from Eric Asimov to learn a lot more. 

From the producerFor a hundred and thirty one years, three generations of the López de Heredia family have devoted themselves to producing exceptional and unique wines. Masterpieces which have achieved that which the founder of the company, Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, defined in the late nineteenth century as the "Supreme Rioja".
Vineyard care, a scrupulous selection of grapes, ageing in oak barrels in the heart of deep underground galleries, and the later ageing in bottles, all contribute to making these illustrious wines with their exceptional bouquet.
Special mention ought to be made of our white wines. If there is one bodega experienced in producing old white wines, it has to be López de Heredia. To talk in our bodega of white wines being exclusively young and uncomplicated, would be asking for trouble. We have never been averse to ageing white wines in oak for as long as reds, and the result is much more surprising than might be expected. When this type of wine has spent a long time in contact with oak, the oaky tastes and aromas are overly noticeable and even unbalanced.  Nevertheless, when left for a few more years in bottles, the rough edges of oak become sufficiently polished and balanced to create a seductive bouquet of spice, bitter almonds, vanilla and walnut, trademarks of the majestic and opulent Viña Tondonia whites.

On the 2004 vintage:
Clasified by The Regulating Council as EXCELLENT. This year we were producing from 157 ha of the 170 own by us in our 4 vineyards. We harvested a total of 890.475 kg of grapes. The absence of spring frost joined to the good environmental conditions that helped the fertilisation fought against the difficult moments that we pass during the budding, delayed by the low temperatures during that period. All this weather conditions end up into a good and high yield harvest. The summer time was unstable with high risk of storms but Autumn was fresh and full of light and this weather allow us to obtain very high quality grapes and harvest slowly and so that we could choose to pick the grapes on the perfect maturation moment. The Harvest started on October the 4th in Viña Gravonia and finish on November the 5th.
Tasting note:
Colour: Pale gold. Nose: Fresh and almost sweet. Complex and developed. Bouquet with aromas of third generation. Taste: Fruity, complex, developed and fine.
Grape Varieties:
Viura (100%), from our own vineyards.
I say: Going classic today, because as I don't usually drink La Vuelta, I have not done this one before.  And, yes, for those not familiar with the producer, this is a 10-year-old bottle of wine that I bought just weeks ago. This is gorgeous and indeed complex. Stone fruits some woody notes. Almonds, salt, sherry wax. Buy this one if you can.

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