The 2005 Bodega Classica Hacienda Lopez de Haro Reserva kicked off our “after party” last night, a rich red Rioja that carried notes of chocolate, leather, and spice from the first taste to the last of the bottle. This bottle continued a fun evening, one that started with a fantastic crostata (prosciutto and cheese with roasted red peppers!) and a great production of A Christmas Carol. A few random Dickens facts conveyed by our playbills:
- Christmas was not always a day off for workers; Scrooge’s question to Crachit, “You’ll want the whole day off tomorrow, I suppose?” helped create this expectation for us all.
- The first commercially produced Christmas cards were printed in 1843, the same year Charles Dicken’s novel was published.
- There is no Christmas tree in A Christmas Carol, and his characters do not exchange gifts–a tradition usually reserved for New Year’s Day celebrations in that day.
- In the early 1800s (and thanks in part to the Puritans), Christmas was celebrated more like Halloween is today–as a time for merriment and feasting.
Okay, now back to the vino. This 2005 is a red blend of 90% Tempranillo, and 5% Graciano and 5% Garnacha and hails from Bodega Classica. The winery is located in San Vincente de la Sonsierra (on the south of the Cantabrian Mountain Range and the Tolono mountains) and irrigated by the River Ebro. With good rainfall during the winter, protection from the wind and humidity, and excellent “calcareous clay” soil, Sonsierra seems particularly conducive to growing Tempranillo. Bodega Classica ages their 2005 Hacienda Lopez de Haro Reserva for 20 months in French and American oak. The product of this care? An aromatic, full red that is nearly chewy on the palate.
I could see this as a great accompaniment for cheeses, for a black-and-blue burger, or perhaps a cracked pepper accent on a grilled chicken salad or steak. It stands on some big legs. If you’re after some experts’ thoughts, allow me to present tasting notes from Parker’s Wine Advocate:
“It has a beautiful, rounded, sensual bouquet with hints of over-ripe Satsuma and gravel. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of piquancy on the entry. It has crisp acidity and taut tannins on the dry, dusky finish but it remains extremely well-focused.”
It’s been some time since we covered a 2005 in Notes and glad to share on this occasion! Holiday fun to be sure.