Bosconia...coupage

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SteveG
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Bosconia...coupage

#1 Post by SteveG » May 9th, 2016, 5:29 pm

About 3 years ago I bought a few bottles of Lopez de Heredia Bosconia 5 Anos, a wine which apparently predated the 1981 vintage regulations in Rioja. So..I think it is a blend of vintages, aged at least 5 years (in barrels, apparently) prior to release.

They were I think very reasonably priced (under US$50) and really delicious. I have found some more, and now I wonder what is the difference with current Bosconia Reservas. Much to my surprise, the LdH website (below) suggests (to my reading, anyhow) that Bosconia Reserva is "coupage", which I take to be a blend of vintages. This doesn't actually bother me, I am comfortable with LdH wines regardless, and it may even explain why the wines labeled with challenging years (such as 2003) are so excellent.

I have Jancis Robinson's Wine Companion, it says almost nothing on the subject

http://www.lopezdeheredia.com/english/v ... conia.html

Does someone here understand what this term means, and whether it is still in use?

Thanks!
steve gurevitz

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Bosconia...coupage

#2 Post by Josh Kurek » May 9th, 2016, 5:40 pm

From a good friend who knows more about Lopez and Spanish wines that most:

Lopez de Heredia has a very eclectic way of doing things and it is the case that they do a little topping off with other vintages, but the main wine for the vintage Bosconia Reservas are in fact the vintages on the label. But for many years prior to when Franco died and the royalists came back into power and Spain re-integrated with the rest of Europe there was no real regulation on the bigger wine houses particularly in Rioja Alta so CVNE likely did the same with Vina Real although like Lopez with Tondonia they are a little more strict about what they do with Imperial.

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#3 Post by John Morris » May 9th, 2016, 5:47 pm

Josh Kurek wrote:From a good friend who knows more about Lopez and Spanish wines that most:

Lopez de Heredia has a very eclectic way of doing things and it is the case that they do a little topping off with other vintages, but the main wine for the vintage Bosconia Reservas are in fact the vintages on the label. But for many years prior to when Franco died and the royalists came back into power and Spain re-integrated with the rest of Europe there was no real regulation on the bigger wine houses particularly in Rioja Alta so CVNE likely did the same with Vina Real although like Lopez with Tondonia they are a little more strict about what they do with Imperial.
Did what? Blend more than a little from different vintages?
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Bosconia...coupage

#4 Post by Josh Kurek » May 9th, 2016, 5:52 pm

Yes, top off a little with wines from a different vintage.

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#5 Post by John Morris » May 9th, 2016, 5:59 pm

But are you talking about the vintage-dated Bosconias or Steven's 5 Anos, which I gather is non-vintage?
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

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Bosconia...coupage

#6 Post by Josh Kurek » May 9th, 2016, 8:02 pm

The vintage dated bosconia

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GregT
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Bosconia...coupage

#7 Post by GregT » May 9th, 2016, 10:03 pm

The Bosconia vineyard is planted to mostly Tempranillo, with decreasing amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.

"Coupage" doesn't necessarily mean a blend of different vintages. The French word "couper" means to cut and the term doesn't necessarily refer to anything other than blending. Many years ago there was even Pinot Noir in Bosconia. Remember that the idea of monovarietal bottlings is rather new and mostly a result of the American interest in wine since the 1980s.

In the LdH there may be wines from a different vintage, but it's a small amount and it's not unusual in many wine regions to top off barrels with wine from a different vintage.
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Gobindjit S. Dhaliwal
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Bosconia...coupage

#8 Post by Gobindjit S. Dhaliwal » May 9th, 2016, 11:01 pm

SteveG wrote:About 3 years ago I bought a few bottles of Lopez de Heredia Bosconia 5 Anos, a wine which apparently predated the 1981 vintage regulations in Rioja. So..I think it is a blend of vintages, aged at least 5 years (in barrels, apparently) prior to release.
Hey Steve,

The way to date these is to find the small printed code, generally on the left side of the label, which is the code for when the label was produced. You should see something like GG 100000. 9 73 which basically means the label was created around Sept. 1973, so for Bosconia you'd need to subtract 5 years and 6 months (give or take) from 1973 so basically this bottle is mostly Bosconia Reserva 1968.

GG 100000. 9 73
GG (Grafica Gonzalez company that printed the labels) xxxxxx M YY

More examples:
GG 100000 4 75 which is April 1975 minus 5yrs and 6 months so this bottle is mostly 1969
GG 300000 8 72 which is August 1972 minus 5yrs and 6 months so this bottle would mostly be 1967

This also works for the Tondonia 6o año, where it would be minus 6 years and 6 months give or take from the same GG code.

It's not exact but very close, if you want exact you could also email the winery. Hope this helps.
ITB

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Bosconia...coupage

#9 Post by SteveG » May 10th, 2016, 6:06 am

Thanks so much, this is perfect!

My current stock says "11 81", which I take to mean that the primary (and most recent) vintage is most likely 1975; I will have to wait for my newest bottles.

GregT, you are of course correct about the reference to blended grapes as well, although the context on LdH's page makes it clear that while all Bosconia is a blend of grapes, only the Gran Reserva are "vintage" wines.

Thanks to all!

Steve


Gobindjit S. Dhaliwal wrote:
SteveG wrote:About 3 years ago I bought a few bottles of Lopez de Heredia Bosconia 5 Anos, a wine which apparently predated the 1981 vintage regulations in Rioja. So..I think it is a blend of vintages, aged at least 5 years (in barrels, apparently) prior to release.
Hey Steve,

The way to date these is to find the small printed code, generally on the left side of the label, which is the code for when the label was produced. You should see something like GG 100000. 9 73 which basically means the label was created around Sept. 1973, so for Bosconia you'd need to subtract 5 years and 6 months (give or take) from 1973 so basically this bottle is mostly Bosconia Reserva 1968.

GG 100000. 9 73
GG (Grafica Gonzalez company that printed the labels) xxxxxx M YY

More examples:
GG 100000 4 75 which is April 1975 minus 5yrs and 6 months so this bottle is mostly 1969
GG 300000 8 72 which is August 1972 minus 5yrs and 6 months so this bottle would mostly be 1967

This also works for the Tondonia 6o año, where it would be minus 6 years and 6 months give or take from the same GG code.

It's not exact but very close, if you want exact you could also email the winery. Hope this helps.
steve gurevitz

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Bosconia...coupage

#10 Post by R. Smith » May 10th, 2016, 6:26 am

GregT wrote:The Bosconia vineyard is planted to mostly Tempranillo, with decreasing amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.

"Coupage" doesn't necessarily mean a blend of different vintages. The French word "couper" means to cut and the term doesn't necessarily refer to anything other than blending.
Actually, Maria has said that nearly all the LdH Crianza and Reserva wines are blends of different vintages. (Around 85% per EU regulations) The LdH wines labeled Cosecha, are the exception and only use grapes from the vintage specified on the label.
R y @ n

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Bosconia...coupage

#11 Post by Gobindjit S. Dhaliwal » May 10th, 2016, 11:34 am

If I'm not mistaken the Reserva levels usually are 85% from the stated vintage while the remaining 15% is a multiple vintage blend added in order to maintain consistency, which sounds something like NV Champagne. Before 1981 the composition was similar but the multiple vintage blend portion was higher.

While in Haro I picked up a "special" bottling of Tondonia, the Primer Centenario (First Century) done to commemorate the the first 100 years of the Bodega in 1977. The GG code on the left reads GG 1/77 which makes the base vintage 1970, but while in Haro they had told me this was special since they blended in a greater proportion of older vintages for this small lot of commemorative bottles.
ITB

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Bosconia...coupage

#12 Post by SteveG » May 18th, 2016, 10:13 am

I just received my "new" 5 Anos, they are all marked

4 75

so I am thinking the wine is primarily 1969 or 1968. Apparently 1968 was a very good year in Rioja, 1969 rather average.
steve gurevitz

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