(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)
1999 R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia 'Viña Gravonia' Crianza
Viña Gravonia is a superb white from traditionalist Rioja producer R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia that is released only after long aging at the 133-year-old winery's cellars in Haro, Spain. The latest release is not the 2007 or 2005, but the 1999 vintage. At less than $30, this buttery, nuanced 11-year-old wine is an amazing value. It is light canary yellow in color, and aromatic and dry, with a complex weave of caramel, citrus peel and almond tastes and an alluring finish. Despite its age, Viña Gravonia is lively and fresh and absolutely lovely at this moment.
It's wonderful with chicken liver crostini, pâtés and terrines, as well as with foie gras. I'd also drink it with grilled seafood and seafood pasta or rice dishes.
Note: If you can't find the 1999, the 2000 is just arriving or will be at wine stores soon.
—S. Irene Virbila
Region: Rioja, Spain
Price: From $25 to $28
Style: Dry and nuanced
What it goes with: Chicken liver crostini, pâtés and terrines, foie gras, seafood
Where to find it: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, http://www.missionwines.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com.