Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heredia by the lake

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rosè Gran Reserva 2000
60% Garnacho 30% Tempranillo Viura 10%
Ageing in barrels: 4 and a half years, being racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.

It was a hot and unpredictable summer afternoon with blue skies accompanied by threatening clouds.  I met up with Caitlin at her lake house and stepped out of a beat up Ford Focus carrying a crinkled up paper bag.  I pulled out some Manchego cheese, barlotti beans prepared in the style of my Calabrian great grandfather and a bottle of 2000 Heredia Rosè.  The first mistake I made was pouring the wine at fridge temperature as it is definitely best served around cellar temp (60F - 16C).  The nose was straight funk from the beginning, but on the palate all I got was the oxidative character.  At first I thought shit! it might be a bad bottle.  We waited ten minutes. If its a faulty bottle its gonna get really gnarly with little time... if its good it will improve and be delicious.  Sure enough it was just too cold and the fruit started to emerge with time.  The acidity and that oxidative character matched up perfectly along with layers of hazelnut and strawberries.  What a fucking gorgeous 11 year old Rosè we have here!

Earlier, looking for advice on what to pair this bottle of wine with.  I asked a couple of bloggers what they preferred.

Samantha of Samantha Sans DosageCured ham and Comte.  That wine is too complex to get crazy with the food. Let the wine be the star and the salty and fatty bits frame it. 

Jeremy of Do BianchiOur friend Brad at our favorite restaurant in Austin, Fonda San Miguel, keeps a stash of Lopez (and Produttori) just for us (well, not just for us, but we like to pretend it's just for us!). My all-time fav pairing for that wine (so far) is... Huitlacoche Tamales because, as Sam points out, the purity of the flavors in the dish doesn't fight the crazy goodness and subtleties of the wine. So there you go!  (Or do it with some fresh east coast oysters!)

I say, if your tasting a Heredia wine for the first time go super simple as Samantha suggests.  If you've had it and know what to expect get a little more daring Do Bianchi style.

Caitlin and I throwing down before the storm on Onota lake, Pittsfield MA


  1. Oh right on. To be fair, (you are just too sweet to say it) you didn't ask me as I recall, I saw your question posted on Jeremy's wall and I stuck my nose all up in it. Thank you for indulging me kid. That wine is so wild, tremendous complexity and layering, I just think the fruitiness of Comte cut with the saltiness from the ham work as fun palate adjusters. So glad it worked out Nico.

  2. oh dont be so bashful! worked out great...
    love you girl! (and that wine!)

  3. "more daring Do Bianchi style"! Love it... :)

    Tracie P and I need both of yall and Caitlin, too, to come to Austin so we can drink it at Fonda San Miguel (where they also have 09 Langhe Nebbiolo by Produttori del Barbaresco to go with our Carne Asada Tampiqueña).

    Everyone who's ever poured LdH rosado on the floor of a restaurant knows that experience of watching a guest think the wine is off at first... It's such a treacherous beginning but the reward so great for those who get it... :)

    Miss yall!

  4. yeah amazing how that sucka opens up! i can imagine what some customers say at first taste.. aha