Thursday, August 22, 2013

White Rioja

I'm still into cleaning out older bottles and we definitely found a winner with this one.  The wine was a  2001 R. Lopez de Heredia, Vina Tondonia, Vina Gravonia white Rioja, a 100% Viura wine.  I've had this wine for several years and bought it through a special offer from a merchant in California.

There was a special price on lobsters in the local market so while they rested in the refrigerator before hitting the steam bath I pulled this bottle out and gave it a thirty minute chill. 

Obviously there was some age to this bottle - apparent by looking through the glass.  When it hit the wine glass it was a beautiful golden color, but this wine was far from old.  It was fresh with tastes of lime zest, grapefruit, pears and golden raisins.  There was just a hint of oxidation in the taste and that simply added complexity.  The body was full and muscular with no signs of being dainty.  The finish was long and ended bone dry and crisp with the oxidation kissing the very end.  

The lobsters got their steam bath and I made two dipping butters - one with traditional lemon juice and the other with fresh, pulverized lemongrass steeped in the warm mixture for half an hour.  

I was amazed at how well this wine went with the lemongrass butter and lobster.  It was delicious with the lemon butter, but the oxidative note in the wine took to the lemongrass flavors and they embraced each other.  It was a remarkable flavor combination.  I tried a piece of bread dipped in the butter with the wine and while it was tasty it still needed the sweetness and salinity of the lobster to bring every thing together.  This was definitely a menage a trois situation.  As good as the three items were on their own they were much better together.

Sadly, this was my only bottle, though there is a a bottle of the reserve from 1996 still in the cooler.

2001 R. Lopez de Heredia, Vina Tondonia, Vina Gravonia.  12.5% alcohol and $23 at time if purchase.

No comments: