1996 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Blanco Rioja

($28) Yellow-gold. Musky, mineral-accented peach, yellow plum and honey aromas, with a suave vanillin nuance adding complexity. Plush and deep in pit fruit and ripe melon flavors, with a gentle acid lift adding focus. Slow-mounting citrus notes provide refreshment on the finish but this has serious heft and needs to be served with food. There's a lot going on here.


1989 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco Rioja

($40) Medium gold. An impressively complex bouquet evokes ripe pear, peach, floral honey, beeswax and hazelnut, with building minerality adding complexity. Weighty and ripe but with an unlikely freshness, showing deep, focused orchard and pit fruit qualities and undercurrents of stony minerals and toasted nuts. Firm and pleasingly dry on the finish, which is striking for its depth, energy and sappiness. (Think Global, Santa Barbara, CA)

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