Erica Landin

Location: Stockholm, AB

While working as a Biotech equities analyst, a divine Burgundy stopped me in my tracks and made me re-evaluate life. Today, I'm a full time wine writer. Passionate about small, quality producers, minimal intervention winemaking & sustainability in wine.

Top 5 wines tasted in Rioja regardless of price

Recently (July 2012) I spent some time in Rioja with two Masters of Wine and a Sommelier doing research for an article for the Swedish wine magazine Allt om Vin. These are my top five wines tasted during the visit, regardless of price or availability. Different styles but all are a pleasure! Buying Grand Reserva or Reserva Rioja is a smart way to experience aged wines even if you don't have access to a cellar. The old-school style of places like R.Lopez de Heredia lends itself perfectly to aging, and if you do have a cellar with a steady temperature you can leave these wines to rest for decades. They only improve, not once losing the freshness.

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco Gran Reserva 19 (1973)
Comments: This is a brilliant wine, beautifully sweet, oxidized nose with honey, honeysuckle and toasted almonds but a completely dry mouth. The balance and freshness is impeccable. Read about my experience of tasting it here:
Previously available for $499.00
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2 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rioja (1982)
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3 Barón de Chirel Rioja (2005)
Comments: Here you immediately notice the roots that fine rioja has in the Bordeaux trade. An elegant reminder of past, present and future. Soft, elegant with warm fruit and integrated oak. Intensity provided by grapes from old vines but without the excess of some modern winemaking. The 15% cabernet sauvignon adds to the Bordeaux feeling. Excellent vintage.
Average price: $69.09 from 4 stores
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4 Bodegas Roda Doca Rioja Roda I Reserva (2006)
Average price: $120.05 from 2 stores
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5 Viña Gravonia (2001)
Previously available for $29.99
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