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Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at Contigo, San Francisco, California
For lovers of mature, traditionally made wine, our favorite stomping grounds are Piedmont, Madeira, and Rioja.
There are two reasons for this. First, you can still find great old wines at remarkably low prices. And secondly, even ancient wines (when acquired from great cellars) can be counted on to deliver incredible drinking experiences with mind-boggling consistency.
While the longevity of wines from Piedmont and Madeira are well known, far fewer Americans have been exposed to the grandeur of old Rioja. But those who attended our wonderful Contigo dinner on June 1 may now understand our passion for these incredible wines. They experienced fourteen amazing traditional Riojas that made a strong case for the wine culture that once existed in Rioja.
But the wines we had in June hardly dented our library of old Riojas. And so on Tuesday, October 11, we went back to Contigo, with an all-new line-up. Included were not only 13 more red Riojas (from 1961 to 1985), but also four soaring examples of the classic barrel-aged white Riojas that are nearly extinct today. No wines will be repeated from the June dinner. Here’s the complete list of what we were drinking:
1981 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco
1987 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco
1991 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco
1998 Marques de Murrieta Gran Reserva Blanco
1961 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Gran Reserva
1964 Bodegas Riojanas Vina Albina
1967 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva
1968 Franco-Espanolas Royal Reserva
1975 Vina Lanciano Reserva
1975 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva
1978 Marques de Murrieta Ygay Gran Reserva Especial
1978 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva
1981 Bilbainas Vina Pomal
1981 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Gran Reserva
1981 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Gran Reserva
1982 Bodegas Riojanas Vina Albina Reserva
1985 Cune Vina Real Rioja Reserva
The wines were accompanied by a special menu created for us by Chef Brett Emerson, who, since opening Contigo in 2009, has made it an elite address for Spanish food lovers in San Francisco.
|1981||1981 Bilbainas Vina Pomal Rioja||2||$79.95||add|
|1975||1975 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva||3||$195.00||add|
|1981||1981 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva||1||$295.00||add|
|1985||1985 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Reserva||6||$145.00||add|
|NV||NV Franco-Espanolas Bordon Rioja Cosecha Especial (1970s)||12||$84.95||add|
|1982||1982 Bodegas Lagunilla Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva||6||$74.95||add|
|1973||1973 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja (ex-Rekondo)||2||$245.00||add|
|NV||NV Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja 5 Ano (1970s Release)||3||$145.00||add|
|1981||1981 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco Rioja Gran Reserva||NM95 /
|2002||2002 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco Rioja Reserva||CT93||2||$84.95||add|
|2004||2004 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco Rioja Reserva||TA96 /
|1983||1983 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja (torn label, signs of past seepage)||2||$175.00||add|
|2005||2005 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva 375 mL||375 mL||TA96 /
|2006||2006 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva 375 mL||375 mL||WA95 /
|2009||2009 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rosado Rioja Gran Reserva||TA94||2||$129.95||add|
|1956||1956 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja||2||$425.00||add|
|1952||1952 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva||3||$375.00||add|
|1956||1956 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva||JG93||1||$425.00||add|
|1982||1982 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva||6||$175.00||add|
|1985||1985 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva||3||$125.00||add|
|1988||1988 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva||4||$95.00||add|
|2004||2004 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva||12||$39.95||add|
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