2010 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia- Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (8/25/2019)
My first R. Lopez H Blanco. With much excitement and anticipation, and at worst case, this was a new wine experience that had my absolute attention and challenged me as to what I consider desirable qualities in a wine. I dont really get into oxidative traits, never really enjoyed a Jura, and this nose unapologetically so. My SO tapped out right away, “Dale, love ya, not for me’’. But once beyond this point, the wine had the most beautifully dry, powerful chiseled qualities, reminding me of a strong vintage of Les Clos. I realize decanting would have been helpful, but I spent a lot of time merging the two personalities, and ultimatlety, came away impressed and ready to try an 05 Tondonia Blanco soon. Oh, drank out of a Riedel Chardonnay Extreme and this had the most beautiful golden color.
I’ve occasionally thought these were oxidized and DOA when first opened, only to find that that note blew off with some air. I’ve come to think that there’s sometimes something that imitates oxidation but isn’t actually that. Of course, with the barrel time these wines see, it could be! When they are good, they are great. I prefer them to the red LdHs.
Where did you get the 2010? It’s only showing at one store in California. Everyplace else has the 2009.
John - those, like all of the LdH wines, always have a bit of oxidation to them. Given the rackings, the barrel aging, and the vintage release dates, it’s not surprising. Not sure why decanting would be necessary - I’ve had them at the winery and they didn’t decant at all and we just opened and drank them. My wife is like Dale’s - she loves Maria but isn’t a huge fan of the wines.
I’ve had many of the LdH whites that had only a trace of oxidation. Since Dale’s post made it sound like his bottle was more extreme, I offered my experience, which is that there is sometimes something that blows off these wines that seems like oxidation at first, but presumably isn’t since it goes away. Jasper Morris has written about similar experiences with white Burgundy, suggesting that some “premature oxidation” in those wines is actually something else because the aroma blows off.
To John’s point and I was in hurry to get this note written before family Sunday Fun time, the oxidative notes did seem to calm down with air, I think we spent 90 minutes with it - split between 4 adults - so I wouldn’t hesitate to decant going forward.
Think Global must have brought in a shipment to west coast recently. Cru just made some of both those blancos available at retail here in Seattle, too. Tight allocations. Even Gravonia getting parsed out. First time I can’t get as much as I wanted. Vinopolis still seems to be most reliable source north of CA.
I had the same experience with getting Gravonia this year. My usual source said she was unable to secure any for me even though I buy a case every year. It took some arm-twisting of a friend ITB to get me a case. Anyone know why supplies of Gravonia are so tight this year?
I usually find Gravonia very thin on opening, but a splash decant and 4+ hours later and it becomes full and rich. Last I had one was a 2001 a couple of months ago and it was a beauty. Splash decant in the morning and drank it 6 hours later.