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 Vintage2002 Label 1 of 22 
(NOTE: Label borrowed from 2001 vintage.)
TypeWhite
ProducerR. López de Heredia (web)
VarietyViura
DesignationBlanco Crianza
VineyardViña Gravonia
CountrySpain
RegionLa Rioja
SubRegionLa Rioja Alta
AppellationRioja
UPC Code(s)721384040061

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2012 and 2017 (based on 9 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 89.1 pts. and median of 90 pts. in 91 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by robs_r on 6/25/2015: Very interesting. Bright gold, it gives this impression of an ageless wine, similar to what good Loire Chenins or Jura whites deliver. Complex and fresh, silky texture, long. Great food wine, think about Tapas but also fish. Outstanding QPR. Exllent. Drink or hold. (138 views)
 Tasted by rahulchatterjee on 4/3/2015 & rated 89 points: Very interesting wine. Very different than all the white wines that I have tasted so far. Golden straw color. The fact that it is a 2002 itself makes it unique as I have not had white wines that old. Terrific bouquet. Citrus, oak, sandalwood. Medium body. Drinks much stronger than a traditional chardonnay or sauv blanc. Started the evening by drinking this. Should have waited. The wine is strong enough that it is best drunk when paired with food. Mushroom pasta or Salmon with mushroon sauce. Unique wine. Try it! (460 views)
 Tasted by kanjimoti on 10/13/2014 & rated 90 points: What a nose. I'm reminded simultaneously of riesling and an oxidized Jura, particularly the Philippe Bornard Les Chassagnes with its fungal funk. The '02 Gravonia somehow achieves an oxidative attitude while maintaining freshness and I get wafts of beeswax, petrol, sugar snap peas, and a touch of soil and vanilla. The palate has filled out a touch since I last put a bottle into play over a year ago. There's a fantastic balance of acid and the medium body that has a noticeable vanilla presence. I'm attracted to the Heredia whites for their novelty and I'll say this is going awfully well with herb goat cheese. The '02 is still young and vivacious and I would expect it to drink well for at least another five years. Good juice. (1460 views)
 Tasted by Conde on 8/24/2014 & rated 90 points: Beautiful amber to golden colur.
In the nose the wine is rich, but quite complex with notes of honey, wax, nuts and, like someone remarked, Lanolin! On the palate, the wine is more than mediumbodied with good attack and structure, with notes of nuts, smoke and a fresh, long, citric and slightly bitter finish. A wine with lots of character, and plenty of nuances! I will have jamón serrano, olives and tortilla española with the wine the next time (and I will buy it again). Excellent! (1617 views)
 Tasted by lockandkey2 on 8/17/2014 & rated 91 points: I love this wine. hints of minerality, nice notes of sherry (oxidation) a few hints of white flesh fruit, voluptuous mouth feel, with just a bit of acidity to clean it up at the end. (1731 views)
 Tasted by Marcyrillo on 8/3/2014 & rated 91 points: Honney, tropical fruits, jammy, very mineral, wheezy. Strong acidity, very long. Mineral aftertaste. Great! (1383 views)
 Tasted by chbeaumont on 6/29/2014 & rated 89 points: This swung between good to ordinary. It had attractive elements but they did not come to together convincingly. Lacks focus on diffuse finish. Best to drink up. (1651 views)
 Tasted by rcrisa on 6/7/2014 & rated 91 points: López de Heredia makes really impressive wine. Vanilla, oak and mineral on the nose. Apricot, vanilla and much more on the palate. A real feast. (978 views)
 Tasted by rwpalmer on 6/1/2014 & rated 92 points: No hint of oxidation. I loved the waxy, lanolin nose. Round, soft but concentrated on the palate. (958 views)
 Tasted by Wine-Strategies on 5/18/2014: In absolute defiance of a poor vintage, this wine succeeds with freshness and balance. Apricots, lemon bars and guava, flor, all on a bed of crushed minerals and saline-cured oak. Nearly medium-bodied on the palate, fresh and easy to drink, but composed (i.e. non-quaffer) and surprisingly structured. For just $25, what's not to like? recommended, drink thru 2018

Off the list at Jaleo, Las Vegas; PnP, served non-blind (1517 views)
 Tasted by kingkanu on 5/5/2014 & rated 87 points: Yellow gold in colour. Orange peel, honey, apricot, banana milkshake (!) and more with waves of acidity making this very fresh and needing food really. (942 views)
 Tasted by DK Amateur on 1/25/2014: Pale gold. At first caramel, apples and hazelnuts, somehow in a fresh way. Later more old oak and something undefinably savoury; just a touch of manzanilla sherry. Complex but light; high acidity, not terribly long. Unique and fine. (1223 views)
 Tasted by maxima on 12/27/2013 & rated 90 points: On aime bien cette maison « mythique », le vin est composé de raisins Viura à 100%!
Au nez on sent des notes beurrés, un peu de noisettes et des poires.
En bouche c’est droit et frais avec une belle acidité, un peu de citrons verts,
du caramel et des pêches blanches avec une belle longueur en prime sur des notes rancios.
C’est rudement bon et bien fait, on le préfère au 2003 présentement sur les tablettes (1306 views)
 Tasted by WillersC on 10/26/2013 & rated 90 points: After last weeks EN Bota de Vino Blanco I thought it was missing a little bit of spark. Nice waxy, orange rind and oxidative elements on the nose and long lemony,smokey palate with a little buttery oak. Went well with the Hake. (1533 views)
 Tasted by Gece on 10/18/2013 & rated 90 points: Lovely straw color. Nose of winter apples and grey pears, palate is consistent and adds hints och mushrooms and nuts. Fairly long finish. Acidity isn't very high - the age is telling - but the dryness lends nice balance. (1498 views)
 Tasted by Discoduck on 10/13/2013 & rated 89 points: Rich and demanding, not for the weak hearted. (1480 views)
 Tasted by Decaturwinedude on 9/1/2013 & rated 90 points: Compared to the '03, this shows a bit more oak and slightly more oxidation. It's creamier. Still a fan, I just like the energy in the '03 a bit more right now. Still very floral and especially complex with air. Interesting wine. (1453 views)
 Tasted by DRK III on 8/24/2013 & rated 88 points: Golden straw color with a tinge of tangerine due to oxidation. Floral on the nose with lemon peel, wilted wild flowers and candied melon; some herbal notes as well. Low viscosity, mild to medium acidity that is well integrated. Tasted over two days, but didn't change much after the first hour it was open. Fruit is subtle, but persistent although dominated by oak. Lemon zest in front and mid-palette following by lingering ginger through a medium finish. 88 (1249 views)
 Tasted by Flavito on 8/4/2013 & rated 87 points: Still young, slightly oxidative, quite grassy on the nose. Very good, but way below the reserva and gran reserva Tondonia. Delicious though, and paired very well with a Shrimp Catupiry. (1291 views)
 Tasted by petec-s on 7/27/2013 & rated 89 points: Very complex bouquet, racy bone dry palate, topical fruit, linseed oil hit of mineral and acidity, nice. (1183 views)
 Tasted by kanjimoti on 7/7/2013 & rated 89 points: Oh I don't know about this particular bottle. While I enjoyed singing the praises of last November's tasting, here I find the oak cloying and superficial, far from integrated. In fact that's about all I get here other than a cidery oxidation which is in total contrast to the new world slathering of wood, like an over the hill Meursault. There's a massive dose of vanilla with an undertow of petrol on the nose. After the oak fades in the mouth I get a whisper of ginger and fennel, or some sort of wild herb which does add intrigue. Despite the false sense of body the oak provides, the finish comes across as unsubstantial and fleeting. Why am I so unimpressed with this bottle, one of the great white wines of not only Rioja, but all of Spain? I feel like The Curmudgeon of Wine, a snob, jaded and unappreciative of the work in the vineyard and around the tanks, barrels, and vats, the long nights in the cellars as I've spoken somewhat ill of so many wines of late. I digress. This will improve with time as the 1990 is drinking ethereally right now. Viura, also known as macabeo. (1396 views)
 Tasted by mschede on 6/21/2013 & rated 90 points: 100% Viura. 12,5%. 4 anos em carvalho americano de 225 L, + 4 em garrafa até a liberação.
Cor dourado médio. Nariz inicialmente com notas de lima e pêra, abriu para notas condimentadas, talvez algo de tomilho e cominho, muito bem emoldurados por um marcante frescor de acidez, que remete a limão. Corpo leve a médio, tendo um paladar muito limpo, com fruta austera e boa acidez, sendo lindamente equilibrado. Rioja tradicional, com madeira já bem integrada, mas aparentemente ainda tem a evoluir com a guarda, devendo ganhar mais terciários. Beberia outra em 2017+. (1281 views)
 Tasted by vsbastosx on 6/14/2013 & rated 91 points: Decanted for 30 min.
Beautiful golden colour. Gorgeous on the nose with sweet pineapple pie, honey and hazelnuts. Excellent acidity and viscous texture with long aftertaste. It got better after 2 hours, so decant it in advance for at least 1 hour. Excellent! (1236 views)
 Tasted by Colia on 5/27/2013 & rated 89 points: oxidized, but it's supposed to be. Rich ripe, but still nice acid. (1219 views)
 Tasted by KenPlace on 5/6/2013 & rated 88 points: Solid Spanish white. Stll has years to go as people thought it was a young wine. (1315 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Luis Gutiérrez
JancisRobinson.com (5/8/2012)
(López Heredia, Viña Gravonia Crianza Rioja White) Subscribe to see review text.
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, September/October 2011, IWC Issue #158
(R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Blanco Rioja) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

R. López de Heredia

Producer Website

Spain

Vinos de España - Wines of Spain (Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior) | Wikipedia

Spain is the third largest wine producing nation in the world, occupying the majority of the Iberian Peninsula with vast diversity in climate, culture, and of course, wine. From inky, dark reds of the [Priorat] to dry, white Finos from Andalusia, Spain can easily boast of elaborating a wide variety of notable styles. Within Spain there are currently 62 demarcated wine regions, of which a handful have gained international recognition: [Rioja], Priorat and [Ribera del Duero]. Yet these regions are only a small sample of the high quality wines Spain produces. Regions such as Cava, Penedes, Somontano, Galicia, Rueda and Jerez are only a few of the numerous regions worthy of exploration throughout Spain. Spain can also lay claim to having the most land under vine in the world, growing up to, by some accounts, 600 indigenous varietals of which Tempranillo is their most well known. Other popular varietals include [Garnacha], Bobal and Monastrell for reds and for whites; the infamous Palomino Fino grape which is used in the production of sherry wine, Pedro Ximenez in Montilla Morilles, Albarino used in the creation of the bright, effervescent wines of Galicia, and Verdejo in Rueda. - Source: - Catavino.net

Spain is not in the forefront of winemaking for its dessert wines, other than for its sweet wines from Sherry country including the highly revered Olorosos and Amontillados. But apart from Sherry Spain has a range of styles of dessert wines, ranging from the those made from the Pedro Ximenez grape primarily in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles) to luscious, red dessert wines made in the Mediterranean from the Garnacha (Grenache) grape. Some good Moscatels are made in Mallorca, Alicante and Navarre. The northwest corner of Spain, Galicia, with its bitter Atlantic climate, is even making dessert wines, called “Tostadillos” in the village of Ribadivia (similar to France’s “Vin de Paille”). The Canary Islands have made interesting dessert wines for centuries (they are mentioned by Shakespeare, for example) and in recent years the quality of winemaking has been improved and the Canary Islands wines are being better marketed now. The winemaking styles for “Vinos Dulces” are also diverse, from “Late Harvest” (Vendimia Tardía) to “Fortified Wines” (Fermentación Parcial). Based on in-spain.info.

La Rioja

Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja - Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja

Rioja

Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja - Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja

HISTORY
The wine region of La Rioja in Spain was first demarcated by the area's governing body, the Consejo Regulador, in 1926. The region extends for approximately 120 kilometres along both sides of the Ebro River and is, at its widest point, bounded by mountains on either side. In fact, the word 'Rioja' is a derivation of the two words 'Rio' (River) and 'Oja (the name of a tributary of the Ebro that runs right through La Rioja creating a series of microclimates and providing much needed water for the vines).

La Rioja has always been a vital part of Spain's history. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, and finally, medieval Crusaders have all played a part in the area's history. The Romans, however, made wine a part of their culture wherever they travelled, and La Rioja was no exception. Ancient sites of Roman wineries still exist in and around the area today.
After the Romans came the Moors, and winemaking all but ceased. It wasn't until after the famous 'El Cid' liberated Spain, and medieval Christianity brought trade via the Crusaders through the region, that it flourished again. The Benedictine monks of Cluny in Burgundy, known for their viticulture, helped to establish three monasteries in the area. The vines they planted were mostly white grapes. In the fourteenth century, English traders acquired a taste for a local Rioja wine, which was a blend of white and red wines called Blancos Pardillos. Over time, development of lighter reds came about satisfying eighteenth century English and French courts.

The real improvements to Rioja's viticulture began around 1780 when the need to prolong wine during transport brought about experimentation with different woods and preservatives. Studies were made of the techniques used by great chateaux in Bordeaux. With the outbreak of the Peninsular War, progress was halted until 1852, when the Bordelais came south to Rioja seeking vines because their vineyards had been blighted with oidium. French winemaking methods were eagerly taken up by great rivals the Marques de Murrieta and Marques de Riscal (who both claim to have been the first in Rioja to make wine in the Bordeaux fashion).

When phylloxera devastated Bordeaux in the 1870s and the French influence really took hold in Rioja, many of the region's finest bodegas started production on what we now consider as the great wines of Rioja. It’s important to remember that Bordeaux winemaking methods then were very different to those employed today in France, and involved long ageing in barrel, a factor that the Riojans took up enthusiastically. So enthusiastically in fact that to this day there are a number of Bodegas that still make their wine in a surprisingly similar fashion to that of the Bordelais in the later part of the 1800s and this also explains why oak ageing is such an important part of Riojan winemaking.

USE OF OAK
Pronounced vanilla flavours in the wines are a trademark of the region though some modern winemakers are experimenting with making wines less influenced by oak. Originally French oak was used but as the cost of the barrels increased many bodegas began to buy American oak planks and fashion them into barrels at Spanish cooperages in a style more closely resembling the French method. This included hand splitting the wood, rather than sawing, and allowing the planks time to dry and 'season' in the outdoors versus drying in the kiln. In recent times, more bodegas have begun using French oak and many will age wines in both American and French oak for blending purposes.

In the past, it was not uncommon for some bodegas to age their red wines for 15-20 years or even more before their release. One notable example of this is Marqués de Murrieta which released its 1942 vintage Gran Reserva in 1983 after 41 years of ageing. Today most bodegas have shifted their winemaking focus to wines that are ready to drink sooner with the top wines typically ageing for 4-8 years prior to release though some traditionalists still age longer. The typical bodega owns anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 oak barrels.
The use of oak in white wine has declined significantly in recent times when before the norm was traditionally 2-5 years in oak. This created slightly oxidised wines with flavours of caramel, coffee, and roasted nuts that did not appeal to a large market of consumers. Today the focus of white winemakers has been to enhance the vibrancy and fruit flavours of the wine.

WINE CLASSIFICATION
Most Riojan Bodegas believe that the ageing of a wine should be the responsibility of the producer rather than that of the consumer, and this is why much Rioja is more mature than wines from other countries. Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, simply labelled 'Rioja', or 'Sin Crianza' (meaning 'without ageing') is the youngest, spending less than a year in oak. A "Crianza" is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which is in oak. 'Reserva' is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, 'Gran Reserva' wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessarily produced each year. Also produced are wines in a semi-crianza style, those that have had a couple of months of oak influence but not enough to be called a full crianza. The designation of Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva might not always appear on the front label but may appear on a neck or back label in the form of a stamp designation known as Consejo.

SUB REGIONS
Rioja Alta
Located on the western edge of the region, and at higher elevations than the other areas, the Rioja Alta is known for more fruity and concentrated wines which can have very smooth texture and mouth feel.

Rioja Alavesa
Despite sharing a similar climate as the Alta region, the Rioja Alavesa produces wines with a fuller body and higher acidity. Vineyards in the area have a low vine density with large spacing between rows. This is due to the relatively poor conditions of the soil with the vines needing more distance from each other and less competition for the nutrients in the surrounding soil.

Rioja Baja
Unlike the more continental climate of the Alta and Alavesa, the Rioja Baja is strongly influenced by a Mediterranean climate which makes this area the warmest and driest of the Rioja. In the summer months, drought can be a significant viticultural hazard, though since the late 1990s irrigation has been permitted. Temperatures in the summer typically reach 95°F. Twenty percent of the vineyards actually fall within the Navarra appellation but the wine produced from the grapes is still allowed to claim the Rioja designation. The predominant grape here is the Garnacha which prefers the hot conditions, unlike the more aromatic Tempranillo. Consequently Baja wines are very deeply coloured and can be highly alcoholic with some wines at 18% alcohol by volume. The wines typically do not have much acidity or aroma and are generally used as blending components with wines from other parts of
the Rioja.

The Riojans are master blenders (as they have to be because there are relatively few single estates in the area, the norm being to blend from a wide variety of vineyards and wine areas). Consequently they are able to reduce vintage variation by careful blending and many of the best wines vary relatively little between vintages.

VITICULTURE & GRAPES
Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). Rioja has a total of 57,000 hectares cultivated, yielding 250 million litres of wine annually, of which 85% is red. The harvest time for most Rioja vineyards is September-October with the northern Rioja Alta having the latest harvest in late October. The soil here is clay-based with a high concentration of chalk and iron (which provides the redness in the soil that may be responsible for the region's name, Rioja, meaning red). There is also significant concentration of limestone, sandstone and alluvial silt.

Among the Tintos, the best-known and most widely-used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. A typical blend will consist of approximately 60% Tempranillo and up to 20% Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. Each grape adds a unique component to the wine with Tempranillo contributing the main flavours and ageing potential to the wine; Garnacha adding body and alcohol; Mazuelo adding seasoning flavours and Graciano adding additional aromas.
With Rioja Blanco, Viura is the prominent grape (also known as Macabeo) and is sometimes blended with some Malvesia and Garnacha Blanca. In the white wines the Viura contributes mild fruitness, acidity and some aroma to the blend with Garnacha Blanca adding body and Malvasia adding aroma. Rosados are mostly derived from Garnacha grapes. The 'international varieties' of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have gained some attention and use through experimental plantings by some bodegas but their use has created wines distinctly different from the typical Rioja.

Some of the most sought after grapes come from the limestone/sandstone based 'old vine' vineyards in the Alavesa and Alta regions. These 40 year old plus vines are prized due to their low yields and more concentrated flavours. A unique DO regulation stipulates that the cost of the grapes used to make Rioja must exceed by at least 200% the national average of wine grapes used in all Spanish wines.

VINTAGE CHART
Rioja (Red) Year %

2004 Superb vintage, classic wines Drink or Hold 94
2003 Hot, dry year, long-ageing wines Drink or Hold 91
2002 Smallest vintage in 10 years. Variable quality.
Keep to top names Drink or Hold 87
2001 Excellent year for long ageing Reservas
and Gran Reservas Drink or Hold 94
2000 A generally good vintage with fine Reservas Drink or Hold 89
1999 Smaller vintage of good quality Drink or Hold 88
1998 Good vintage Drink or Hold 97
1997 Unexciting so far, but quaffable Drink or Hold 84
1996 Good year, plenty of ageing potential Drink or Hold 89
1995 Very good vintage, Reservas now showing excellent fruit Drink or Hold 92
1994 Outstanding, some great long-ageing wines Drink or Hold 94
1993 Lesser wines, apart from best-known names Drink 77
1992 Rather light vintage Drink 80
1991 Still improving, average quality Drink or Hold 85
1990 Fairly ordinary but quaffable Drink 84
1989 Good, firm structure Drink 88



Rioja Reserva & Gran Reserva – Vintages of the Eighties Year %

1989 Goodish vintage, well balanced Drink 88
1988 Fairly good vintage, well balanced wines Drink 88
1987 Very attractive vintage, now at peak Drink 90
1986 Average year, now drinking well Drink 87
1985 Average year, now drinking well Drink 87
1984 Disappointing, with problem weather Avoid 80
1983 Don't keep it any longer Drink 86
1982 Now past its best Drink 83
1981 Superb wines, finest will keep longer Drink 90
1980 Average vintage, don't keep any longer Drink 86

 
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