1998 Vina Gravonia Crianza
Yes, that is correct, a 10 year old wine from one of the top regions in Spain. It gets better: this is a WHITE wine! That’s right, a white Rioja made from 100% Viura grapes, that has aged beautifully for 10 years. This crisp, mineral-laden wine is from R. Lopez Heredia Vina Tondonia, in the Rioja Alta of north-central Spain. The Viura is grown at their estate vineyards, then aged in oak barrels for 4 years! This allows the wine to gain complexity and softness, surprisingly without an overpowering oak flavor. The color is golden, and if you are looking for tons of fruit flavors, you are out of luck. This embodies the Old World spirit, with mineral and straw aromas and flavors, with a stony dry peach and dry lemon palate. Like many older red wines, open the Vina Gravonia one hour before you drink it, as the wine needs to loosen up after so much time in the bottle. As the wine breathes, lovely dry honeysuckle and orange blossom flavors arise, never interfering with the crisp acidity that reigns throughout.Don Rafael Lopez de Heredia y Landeta founded what became known as Lopez de Heredia winery in 1877. The winery is still family-owned. The Viura for this wine is from the 60 acre Vina Zaconia, with an average vine age of 45 years. The Viura grape is also called Macabeo, when it is used in sparkling Cava.The texture of the Vina Gravonia is key, reminiscent of older Chablis or even aged California Chardonnay. The honey flavors are dry and subtle, but the feel is silky and minerally at the same time. Some might call this umami, the vaunted sixth sense associated with soy and MSG. Thus (how scholarly!), this wine will be great with sushi. Also try it with raw oysters and lightly spiced curry shrimp. The 1998 Vina Gravonia costs $32.