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:

Whites 

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 

Reds

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.

Related Products

Description Notes Avail/
Limit
Price
1999 Bilbainas Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva 3 $49.95 add
1964 Bilbainas Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva Especial (ex-Rekondo) 2 $195.00 add
1975 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2 $195.00 add
1985 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Reserva 3 $145.00 add
1946 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Reserva Especial 1 $325.00 add
1966 CUNE Vina Real Rioja Reserva Especial 2 $275.00 add
NV Franco-Espanolas Bordon Rioja Cosecha Especial (1970s) 12 $84.95 add
1970 Franco-Espanolas Royal Rioja Gran Reserva 2 $145.00 add
1968 Franco-Espanolas Royal Rioja Tete de Cuvee (ex-Rekondo) 1 $145.00 add
1982 Bodegas Lagunilla Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva 12 $74.95 add
1973 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja (ex-Rekondo) 2 $245.00 add
NV Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja 5 Ano (1970s Release) 3 $145.00 add
1981 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja Gran Reserva JG95
JR94
RJW93
4 $265.00 add
1991 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja Gran Reserva NM96
ST94
JG95
2 $179.95 add
1976 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco Rioja Gran Reserva WS91 1 $595.00 add
1991 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Blanco Rioja Gran Reserva IWC94
RJW94
1 $189.95 add
1961 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja (ex-Rekondo) 2 $275.00 add
1970 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja (ex-Rekondo) 2 $225.00 add
1983 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja (torn label, signs of past seepage) 2 $135.00 add
1991 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva ST91 3 $145.00 add
2006 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva 375 mL WA95
TA95
JR93
6 $24.95 add
2000 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rosado Rioja Gran Reserva JG93
JR91
3 $195.00 add
2009 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rosado Rioja Gran Reserva TA94 2 $129.95 add
1964 Montecillo Vina Monty Rioja 2 $145.00 add
1994 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Rioja Gran Reserva Especial WA94 1 $135.00 add
1956 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja 2 $345.00 add
1952 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva 3 $375.00 add
1956 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva JG93 2 $325.00 add
1982 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva 6 $175.00 add
1988 Riojanas Vina Albina Rioja Reserva 6 $95.00 add
1994 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 6 $49.95 add
2004 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 12 $39.95 add
2016 Bodegas Olivares Monastrell Dulce 500 mL WA93 12+ $25.95 add

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Wine barrels in a cellar

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