Saturday, January 9, 2010

#21 - Tuna With Olives and Capers & '98 Heredia Rosado

I think I've established the fact that López de Heredia is our favorite winery on the planet by now.

The rosado offered by Heredia is not really among their collection of wines that we love.

We like it, yes. It's oh-so-Heredia. But it can have a damp dishrag aftertaste. If that's held off for as long as possible, it can be great. But it's always playing on the palate on some level. Stave it off and you got a stew goin'.

Meal: Olive/Caper Tapenadey-type Thing On Top Of Rare Tuna, Heirloom Field Greens and Baguette with Butter

Second day in a row without red meat and I felt clean and balanced.

Quality tuna cooked well with a finely-chopped black olive and caper topping reminiscent of the tuna that Mrs. Ney had at Chiado in Toronto (truly great meal - top 10 easy and has aged so well in our minds). Heirloom field greens that had a little less coarse blandness than the usual field greens. Baguette and butter that has replaced baby potatoes as the default starch in our household.

Just like the tilapia, I felt clean, clean, clean. Real good stuff. I miss tuna. It's simply been overlooked and we should eat more of it.

Another meal where we both said, "God, we eat well."

Wine: 1998 López de Heredia Tondonia Rosado - $22 Binny's

Orangish tint in the glass, not falling apart at the edges. Very little nose but definitely Heredia.

On the palate, it's subdued, drying fruit that hang around in the background. Not forward at all. Bit of fig, a little nut and that pleasant mustiness that comes with Heredia wines. Separated on me occasionally with a dustiness showing up early every other sip. Not harmonious but enough balance to enjoy it for what it is. People talk of the sherry quality when talking about why they enjoy it but I don't get it. Not pronounced enough for me to say that.

This wine is always in play when we think about rosés but a bit more fruitiness may have been a good thing with the meal and for what we wanted that night.

I cracked a cheap 2008 Cantele Negroamaro Salento to compare and it was like drinking water.

Pairing: You Know...Good Enough

Nothing inspiring but the wine allowed the tuna to be itself and the tuna let the Heredia stay everything that Heredia rosado is. Little kick-ups here and there but with Heredia rosados, I've always gotten a pleasing finish for about 20 seconds and then a real dustiness rears its head. That's welcome when it's integrated into the rest of the wine but, by itself, I don't dig it so much. We'll do this pairing again because we like both tuna and this wine (intriguing enough to always return to it) but another year of Heredia rosado besides the 1998 is greatly anticipated.


  1. Great post. Interesting notes about the dishraggy thing in the Rosado... personally I'm a big fan of the rose, but I'll see if i can find the character you're talking about next time I try it.

    My post today on a Heredia tasting:


  2. Thanks.

    Right back at ya on your Heredia tasting post. About a year ago, Maria Jose was in Chicago at Blackbird for a tasting menu with Heredias and we had many of the same wines you drank.

    And I agree. For a white wine in the $20-$25 range, Heredia whites are flat-out ridiculous.

    Heredia re-released a few cases of '78 Bosconias two years ago. If you can get your hands on one, it's a glorious wine.

    We're going back to the Rosado this Sunday with veal cassoulet and a '64 Tondonia Gran Reserva is in the hopper.

    Just great stuff and we're lucky in that our favorite wine shop is a huge Heredia fan as well.