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Spanish Spelunkers

Others will be more expert than me on this, but is it fair to say that Lopez de Heredia (especially Cubillo and Bosconia) have more ‘bite’ than LRA Riojas? Certainly more acidity in my experience.


Yea I’d agree with that for the most part.

Biggest difference for me is that the LRA wines have more of that american oak dill pickle note that I personally don’t mind in Rioja, but some people have a problem with. I think the LdH barrels might be older, but either way the oak seems to express itself as more of a funk.

Also think the LRA wines tend to be slightly heavier/more extracted (I don’t mean too much, just more).

In general have found more consistency at LRA as well. Bottle variation at both addresses but more at LdH.

Edit - for clarity here LdH = Lopez de Heredia


Thanks for the responses and suggestions @UisceBeatha and @mpreston91. Interestingly, when drinking the LRA, I did find myself reminded of Californian Cabernet Sauvignons, so presumably the American oak, to which you referred. I will try the Lopez de Heredia wines on the list and see how I find them. Thanks for the advice.

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I’d look at other classifications of Rioja too. One of these is a Gran Reserva, which needs a minimum of 2 years in oak, the other could be labelled as a Gran Reserva (i.e. it’s spent the two years in oak and another three years in bottle pre-release) but isn’t for marketing reasons.

It might be worth looking at other (actual) reservas and crianzas which have spent minimum of a year in oak (or a generic Rioja with no oak ageing at all).


Isn’t there quite a style difference between LRA Ardanza and Arana as well?

Hey Mike look out for the Rioja 874 Ep this august I was seriously impressed by the 2016 I scooped a few which appeared a while back it’s a mix of those two you name I think


available to buy soon based on this


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I might but cases of Rioja are just a bit too much for me and I seem to remember TWS typically do these in 12s, though I may be wrong.

Much better than that st emillion you are talking about

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Yeah they seem to be released in 12s, although last year they had some of the 2016 for sale individually on the site.

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A very subjective view! :wink:

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Heading off for holiday in Northern Spain next week - passing through Burgos on our way to the Asturias coast.

Does anyone have experience of wines from Arlanza DOP? Not sure it is something I have ever tried - clearly on the traditional Spanish spectrum with Tempranillo as the key red grape - I see TWS Cenizales Tempranillo is from Arlanza.

Also any thoughts on Cigales would be much appreciated.

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I was really impressed with it. Nothing special just a good Spanish red. Similar to a Rioja Crianza, definitely thought it was good value at the introductory price. I’ve put the area on my list of places to go to the next time I’m driving through Spain on holiday. Would be interested to know if you find any interesting Bodegas.

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Evening folks

Has anyone tried these from an EP offering;

Viña Zorzal Cueva de La Mora Garnacha, Navarra 2018?

My last opening of a Zorzal as posted in the current weekly thread was average so just curious on the community thoughts. I am hoping these are two very different wines….


Not tried mine yet. Planning to wait another 12-18 months.

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I know they’re different wines, but interesting to read this; I’ve got a case of Viña Zorzal Cueva de La Mora Garnacha, Navarra 2018 in reserves, and had been vaguely wondering when to try the first bottle. Not for a while yet I think :thinking:

My reserves anniversary is end February so March 2023 could be a tester on these….

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Interview with Pierre Mansour:


Pleased to read that PM is interested in Flor based still wines from Andalusia as a possible stock item.


Anybody tried this?


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