2004 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Gravonia" Crianza Blanco Rioja
THE classic, barrel-aged white Rioja, Gravonia is a single-vineyard Viura bottling. The crianza, or aging, of the wine, tends to be very similar each year: following harvest, the grapes are fermented in huge, antique (think early 20th century) wooden vats, and then transferred to old barrels, where they are racked a few times a year and remain for four years. After an egg white fining, the wine spends some time aging in bottles, and it is then labelled and released to market, in this case a mere nine years after the vintage! Truly an original wine, there are few wines that are both as immediately evocative of a region and demonstrative of a house style than Lopez de Heredia's Viña Gravonia. Featuring a blend of yellow and orange stone fruits and subtle savory/sweet notes of old wood, as well as an intriguing interplay of bright acidity and rounded oxidative notes, this wine is very food friendly. A delicately prepared fish preparation would be appropriate, but only your own creativity can limit your pairing potential with this wine.