Wines of the Week: Oct. 26-Nov. 2

No excuses for this feature’s absence, but a semi-legit reason: I was already behind on these before a recent 80-day stretch in which I was travelling or we had out-of-town guests staying with us for 57 days, and just basically gave up. Wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything; wouldn’t want to do this again. I might try to backfill Wines of the Week for the errant period, but for now I’m thrilled to be on time with them:

Everyday: The 2014 Heidi Schrock Rosé Biscaya ($17) is a pink wine for all seasons. It’s sumptuous and almost full-Schrockbodied, rich and regal, but there’s plenty of brisk acidity to remind you that it’s a rosé, not a red. And this blend of merlot and St. Laurent, produced in Austria just five miles from the Hungarian border, is one persistent puppy, lingering on the palate for nigh onto days. It rocked at a Labor Day party with every appetizer, and I can’t wait to try it with roasted winter squash and some celery root from my garden. The tune-age will be from the inimitable Johnnie Johnson, equally at home in the jazz and blues worlds.

Occasion: The problem with R. Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Reserva Tinto is knowing when to drink which vintages. A Herediacouple of years ago, I deemed a 1999 “promising,” for example, not fully developed. At the same tasting, the 1968 and 1981 vintages were gorgeous and glorious, and a more recently sampled 1994 was stupendous, laden with refinement and depth. The good news: Any vintage 10 or more years old will be worth trying, sometimes merely swell but often otherworldly and usually costing $40 to $80, a relative bargain for such “promise.” This wine should be in everyone’s cellar; up to you when to tote it upstairs. Go with roast chicken, pork or veggies. And the timeless cello mastery of Pablo Casals.

2 Responses

  1. Bob Crim

    I drank the Vina Tondonia Bianco some years ago…at 50 years old (both the wine and I!) …it was phenomenal. The oldest dry white I had ever had, it was vibrant, delicate, and amazingly nuanced. A deep Amber color, with flavors of crisp apple, just a delicate wisp fino Sherry, and quince. Revelatory.

  2. Bill Ward

    I have had amazing older whites from there too, Robert. And the current vintage of the rose’ is, what, 2008 or something?
    I truly don’t know how they do it.

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