When we at Wine Dine With Us get together, one thing is pretty much guaranteed: wine will be flowing! Over the years, we have organized our wine selections to prepare for our wine tasting exams at BU, around a variety of seasonal and varietal themes, and most memorably for Open That Bottle Night (OTBN). But when Glenn and I met last week to do some work on the WDWU blog and kick-start our Facebook page, I didn’t really have a theme in mind, just that I would pick a white and a red that I had been holding on to.
White: 2000 R. Lopez de Heredia Viña Gravonia Since we greatly enjoyed the aged Viña Tondonia Rosé we had for the Rosé Roundtable this summer, so I sought out a white Rioja from the same winery – R. Lopez de Heredia. The 2000 Viña Gravonia is 100% Viura and aged four years in barrel and about five additional years in the bottle in the winery’s cellars.
It has a beautiful golden tone with the barest brown to it. Both the nose and the palate are slightly oxidized and reminiscent of Sherry. There’s lots of almond and lemon rind here, with some smokiness. The palate is very dry and full-bodied, with mouth-filling acidity. The Vina Gravonia is also one of the few white wines that has detectable tannins. Overall, it is really fantastic and certainly a wine that could stand a couple more years in bottle.
Red: 2004 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Cabernet Franc I selected the 2004 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Cabernet Franc after seeing the condition of the label. To my horror, a bit of mold had taken hold, a problem for which I am totally to blame. I’m really embarrassed to tell you how it happened. On my last visit to Napa, RSV was one of my very favorite stops. Great organic and biodynamic wines, super-friendly and knowledgeable tasting room staff, and tapas-sized plates to pair with the wines.
The Cabernet Franc has a violet hue and its core is still very dark. Ripe brambly fruit, licorice, and pencil shavings on the nose, while the palate has chocolate-covered cherries and vanilla oakiness. It still has very good acidity and delicate grippy tannins. We thought that this wine was really at peak – though if storage conditions had been better, it, too, might easily have had a couple more years in it.