Rioja and a Guinea Hen

Rioja and a Guinea Hen

Posted on Nov, 30. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

I had intended to bring you a Burgundy today but my morning has taken an odd turn and so I have instead for you a Rioja. I bring you this Rioja because it was a life changer for both of the Richey boys when we tasted it last week. In fact I know that Evan is a huge fan of this wine as well and so I am going to have to mark this one as an all time Guild favorite.

This morning as I was feeding the animals and opening the Ducks, Chickens and Guineas pens for their diurnal rounds I noticed that one of my guineas had been injured. This particular bird had always been the runt of the flock and was almost always getting into trouble, bating temptingly with the cats and dogs and such and now that it was weak and lagging behind the group I was sure it would only be a day or two before something else enjoyed the fruits of my labors (I have already provided too much to that) and the deliciousness of all that pricey organic feed I shell for. So I made up my mind that it was his time.

Just thirty minutes ago I was plucking this bird and as it cooled I could smell the musty, gaminess of its fat and flesh. A meal potential such as this almost always brings my mind around to Burgundy. Just then, however, the taste memory of this Rioja came over me sudden and I knew I was going to need to be ordering some. I recommend everyone tack on a few to this order as this is one of those wines that reminds you why you got into wine in the first place.

I know very little about Lopez De Heredia. A quick internet search shows that they are considered one of the better Rioja producers and somewhat cutting edge. The interesting thing is that they hold their wines back until they feel they are ready to be consumed. The 2005 may be just beginning to be available but the 2004 is considered current release. Add to that the vintage of 2004 being one of Spain’s finest and you have the cornerstone of a potentially really good wine.

This is the Vina Cubillo bottling which is one of the single vineyard designates from this house. The style is not one of those overblown, alcoholic, over ripe, fruit bombs you can find more often in Spain these days. This is harmony and complexity like a well aged 5th growth Bordeaux and yet the spiciness of the predominate Tempranillo evokes aged Rhone for me as well (Micheal Davis you will love this wine). I do not want to overdo the French comparison though, this for me is what Rioja is all about and what it should be every time. In short: The 2004 Lopez De Heredia “Vina Cubillo” Rioja Crianza is still youthful showing medium fruit that is full like velvet on the palate. It also shows the complexity brought about by age and has a tremendous flavor spectrum throughout from the bouquet to the long, long finish.

I highly recommend this wine. It will appeal to all palate types but you Old World wine lovers out there will be thanking me for years over this one. It is a great price for an elegant wine to bring up from your cellar for the right meal, i.e. it is not to dear to drink often. The perfect meal for this Rioja might be Pheasant but Guinea is not too far off the mark and I can not wait until I can pair the two, the bird needs to age a bit anyway. Some of the boys on Cellar tracker loved it with Thanksgiving dinner and I believe it will be a strong home run for whatever you are having for Christmas.

2004 Lopez De Heredia “Vina Cubillo” Rioja Crianza
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $18.37 • Premier Cru: $19.17 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $25.00
Buy Now!

One Response to “Rioja and a Guinea Hen”

  1. Michael Davis

    20. Feb, 2011

    Just drank this and must say that good gawd I need a moist towelette.