To say that the 2002 vintage was a challenging one, in Europe, would be too much of a euphemism: this rainy, wet, cool year really, really sucked. The only good thing that can be said about it is that since it rained so much at flowering, yields were down significantly, which helped whatever grapes remained (barely more than 50% at Lopez de Heredia, in Rioja) to get to actual ripeness. In those tough vintages, great producers still manage to come through, more often than not, and so Lopez de Heredia does with their 2002 Bosconia, Reserva, which may not be their most complex red, but is still coherent and elegant and pretty to drink with, say, a pot roast or some pork chops—or maybe even salmon, as its high acid, lighter color and tobacco/red fruit aromas are somewhat reminiscent of a Pinot Noir. There’s plenty of freshness, no greenness, and plenty of reason to believe that the wine will stay on track for many more years. Recommended.
WHO: R. Lopez de Heredia
WHAT: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano
WHERE: Rioja, Spain
HOW MUCH: $32