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|Drinking window: Drink between 2013 and 2022 (based on 3 user opinions)|
|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 72 notes) - and median of 91 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by Los 12 Glotones on 2/6/2015 & rated 91 points: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
Els12golafres Wine Tasting Group: http://vinosclasicos.blogspot.com.es/2015/01/vina-gravonia-2001.html
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De color amarillo intenso, limpísimo, brillante. Reflejos dorados y ligeramente cobrizos. Marcada sensación de grosor, fuerte lagrimeo.
Nariz esplendorosa, desbocada. Mantiene el habitual matiz de ceras, miel, acacia y ese apunte que podría confundirse como maderoso, casi a crema, que enlaza con un importante aporte a hierbas aromáticas, cítricos e infusión (té de roca, tallos de manzanilla, jengibre, citronela). Para nada sutil. Va abriéndose sin pausa, carente de mesura, concentradísimo. De fondo aparecen y desaparecen tímidas notas de hidrocarburos aupados a un recuerdo dulzón de naranjas de caramelo Mauri, biscotes, orejones, pastelería, vainilla.
En boca es algo grueso, maduro, con un apunte amargoso de calidad que suma al juego entre dulce y acidez. Matizado, sabroso, menos contundente que en nariz pero dotado de un chispazo de energía que en otras cosechas no se veía de forma tan clara. Fresco, agradable. No deja de crecer, cada vez más integrado, más fino y lleno de detalles.
Un vino que solemos beber siempre "joven", al que le sienta como pocos unos años de paciencia y guarda después de comercializarse para mostrarse en plenitud. Este es el caso del Gravonia 2001 que comienza a aposentarse en estos momentos y que en un tiempo va a llegar a su momento álgido. Ahora está de lujo, posiblemente el mejor que hayamos bebido nunca. Por su precio y lo que ofrece puede ser considerado como el mejor vino tranquilo elaborado en España y para nosotros un lujazo poder acumular botellas y ver cómo va evolucionando sin vernos afectados en el bolsillo. Un vino indispensable.
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100% viura - 12.5% vol.
- Fermentación inicial en tinos de madera en los que finaliza las fermentaciones y reposa antes de ser trasegado para su posterior crianza. Permanece durante 4 años en barricas de roble americano de 225 litros. Sometido a 2 trasiegas manuales cada año. Clarificado con claras de huevos frescos. Embotellado directamente de la barrica sin filtrar. Producción limitada a 22.000 botellas. Un mínimo de 2 años de guarda en botellero en los calados de la bodega antes de ser comercializado.
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| ||Tasted by brooklynguy on 1/20/2015: Wonderful! So much intensity, depth of aroma and flavor, and complexity. Light in texture too - eminently drinkable. But here's the thing: I'm speaking about day 3 and to an extent, day 2. Day 1 was disjointed and awkward. This is why more than half the bottle went back into the fridge. This is one to be patient with. Probably will do best with another 5-10 in the cellar. And here I bought it last week hoping for immediate gratification... (1411 views)|
| ||Tasted by acidqueen on 8/24/2014 & rated 94 points: Medium gold, petrol nose. Flavors of corbezzolo honey, lime. Rich and flavorful. Very fine. Still youthful (1368 views)|
| ||Tasted by theguy on 8/18/2014 & rated 85 points: Unappetizing yellow color. Kind of a bell pepper, pineapple nose. Tastes...sour. Very acid. (1322 views)|
| ||Tasted by cristian_m on 8/14/2014 & rated 93 points: Perfectly delightful. Fantastic straw honey color with crisp clarity. Nose of almonds. Acid punch up front with a depth to the finish. (1327 views)|
| ||Tasted by Pfleonard on 7/10/2014 & rated 93 points: I'm sad I drank this because I don't have any more. Others say it has faded, if true, then it must have been enormous when younger because just huge now. Lemon zest, and peaches and apricots on nose. Lovely waxy honeycomb comes forward on palate and very silky/creamy mouthfeel. Don't serve this to anyone from the white wine quaffing crowd, they'll choke. (1098 views)|
| ||Tasted by bags on 5/14/2014: delicious as usual. I have a note that it gets better a couple of days after opening. Too bad I coravined it before reading that. (1364 views)|
| ||Tasted by Tony Molester on 12/21/2013: I have a bunch of these sitting in the cellar. They are good but have turned the corner. Drink up.|
12.5%abv. (1316 views)
| ||Tasted by Druidh on 8/22/2013 & rated 92 points: Was feeling 'off the wall' so we opened this bottle with steamed lobsters. The wine was still fresh and tart, but with a strong body underneath the freshness. The wow moment was a bite of lobster dipped in a lemongrass butter followed by a sip of this wine. The slight oxidation really hit it off with the flavor of the lemongrass. Good meal. (1972 views)|
| ||Tasted by bags on 6/24/2013: this was much better open with 4-5 days in the fridge; great balance. (2298 views)|
| ||Tasted by jrobs7777 on 5/19/2013: Maybe it is the style but I just do not seem to care for this. Salinity. But something a little off. Maybe green? (2305 views)|
| ||Tasted by rayq on 4/18/2013: Light golden colour. Oxidative nose with a touch of honey. On the palate it has an initial richness and then a dry finish. In this vintage this is as good as the Tondonia Blanco. Lovely wine in a restrained style. (2253 views)|
| ||Tasted by chcook on 4/15/2013: repeat performance from last year. still going strong. (1849 views)|
| ||Tasted by Tony Molester on 2/1/2013: Consistent with prior notes. (1786 views)|
| ||Tasted by UMhemePA on 1/12/2013 & rated 90 points: Golden color, vanilla and nutty flavors on the palate, great mouth feel, smooth finish. Still one of my favorite whites in the world!! (1551 views)|
| ||Tasted by Tony Molester on 12/18/2012: Another great bottle, drunk over 3 days. Same magic. (1809 views)|
| ||Tasted by bbell73271 on 12/17/2012 & rated 92 points: I'm not a huge fan of the gran reserva LdH whites as they are often too acidic, too oxidized - always interesting to try but they don't give me much pleasure. This is in the sweet spot for me. Just a little bit of oxidation, some fruit flavor still intact, well balanced, a fantastically complex and beautiful wine. (1601 views)|
| ||Tasted by Riccardo Malocchio on 12/7/2012 & rated 92 points: Another spectacular bottle. I've recently drunk the '00 and '02, and this '01 remains my favorite Gravonia vintage yet tasted. Gorgeous and developed with a kaleidescopic flavor profile sufficient to set loose a slew of descriptors (as in my prior notes!). The complexity of flavors grants a slight nod to the very slightly oxidative style, but this 12 year old wine is more defined by its freshness and exuberance, as well as an intense grip that I presume comes from the tannins of the exceptionally well-integrated oak on a very long, sustained and phenomenal finish. This wine is everything we love from Lopez, and nothing short of spectacular. (1687 views)|
| ||Tasted by jrobs7777 on 11/21/2012: A bit disappointing. Less complexity and body than anticipated. (915 views)|
| ||Tasted by Stockgorilla on 11/17/2012 flawed bottle: Desperately trying to love this wine- however not at all impressed. Based on my personal knowledge of Maria and her staff, and given the fact that I am well aware of the complexity that goes into this vintage, I have decided that the bottle I received was defective. (982 views)|
| ||Tasted by Bill Bucklew on 5/28/2012 & rated 89 points: Subtle oak with bees wax and white roses on the nose. Lemon meringue, fresh cut grass and a slight bit of mine reality dominate this very bright palate. Medium bodied with a big mid-palate, the acid dominates the finish. Drinking very wll now, it is pleasing yet nuanced enough to make it interesting. (2694 views)|
| ||Tasted by DSaeedi on 5/18/2012 & rated 92 points: May Fiesta (Casa): Absolutely delicious, with plenty of complex and developed notes. Palate is rich and fragrant. Also long. Pleasant surprise of the night and probably the consensus favorite white. (3038 views)|
| ||Tasted by Tubulus on 5/14/2012 & rated 93 points: So, so good. Oily, waxy , oaky, a little bit oxidative, but still a wee bit of fruit. Tons of puckering lime-ish acidity keeps it very fresh, even with all the thick flavors and texture. Don't even think about drinking this much colder than cellar temp. Definitely a white for red wine lovers. (2805 views)|
| ||Tasted by grafstrb on 5/6/2012: -- popped and poured -- |
-- tasted non-blind over 2 hours --
NOSE: expressive; petrol and orange.
BODY: tan-golden yellow color of medium depth; medium bodied.
TASTE: excellent acidity; lemony/mineral/light leather mélange; slight oxidative style; hint of oak; 12.5% alc. not noticeable; very nice wine; drinks well now, but could age for a few years, too. This bottle was stylistically in between my 2/6/2012 and 11/28/2011 bottles, noted-on below. Was a wonderful pairing with mussels in a cream & beer sauce. (2681 views)
| ||Tasted by suchitoto on 3/29/2012: very enjoyable, including the oxidized flavors. tastes like rioja. drank with chorizo and potatoes first night, second night sunny-side eggs, serrano ham and spring mix salad with oranges. (2794 views)|
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|By Richard Jennings|
(R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Crianza Viña Gravonia) Light lemon yellow color with 15 millimeter clear meniscus; big, bracing, VA, lemon oil, kumquat nose; tasty, silky textured, lemon oil, ripe kumquat, tart peach, mineral palate; long finish 93+ points 93 points
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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