White Rioja ages extraordinarily well, and if you find a restaurant offering an older vintage of R. Lopez de Heredia, it is well worth a splurge. This younger example is an intriguing blend based on chardonnay and malvasia, seasoned by some viura and tempranillo blanco. Powerful at its core, the wine seems to implode on itself. Delicious, with scents of talc and white flowers. Buy a bottle to try now, and a few more to forget about for a few years to let the wine open up. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Imported by Grapes of Spain, distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Morris Miller Wine & Liquor, Rodman’s, Uptown Market. Available in Maryland at Butchers Alley in Bethesda, Dawson’s Market in Rockville, Finewine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington.
Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Picture credits: Dave McIntyre, the Washington Post.