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Rioja DOC Crianza Blanco "Vina Gravonia", Lopez de Heredia 2004


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A rare treat! Few, if any, Spanish bodegas make this type of Rioja any more. 100% Viura aged in used oak casks for 4 years and in bottles for several more years prior to release. The aging allows the wine to develop stunningly sublime flavors that are both complex and delicious. Waxy, floral, delicate, with flavors of dried pear and apricot and underlying caramel, brioche, and minerals. The 2004 vintage was declared as "Excellent" by the Rioja council. Reminiscent of a great white Graves in its dry elegance and finesse. A delicious accompaniment with rich seafood dishes, veal, and aged cheese. An awesome buy given the modest price.

"The 2004 Vina Gravonia Blanco is pure Viura from a vineyard named after the white wines from Graves in Bordeaux, which Don Rafael Lopez de Heredia y Landeta, founder of the winery, admired. It is aged for four years in used barrels, racked every six months and bottled after being fined with egg whites. 40,000 bottles were produced in the great 2004 vintage. It has a bright, shiny (almost fluorescent!) yellow color and a fresh nose of citric fruit (pink grapefruit), fennel, dried flowers, chamomile, beeswax and hints of mushrooms. The palate has superb acidity, which gives it incredible freshness with great delineation and purity of flavors finishing very dry with a mineral, almost saline note. It invites you to have another bottle! This wine is labeled Crianza, but the aging times (and the quality) greatly exceed the requirements for the category. It's sold almost a decade after the vintage year, so I still consider it a real bargain. Delicious now, but it should age with style. Drink new-2024." 94/100 Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate