2004 R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja 'Crianza Viña Cubillo'
Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta winery, founded in the late 19th century in Rioja, Spain, is still one of best in the region, famous for its gorgeous top-of-the-line Viña Tondonia. But the quality extends down the line. Viña Cubillo, the estate's crianza, would be a reserva anywhere else. And priced in the mid-$20s, it's a bargain by any measure.
Made from a blend of Tempranillo with 25% Granacho and smidgens of Graciano and Mazuelo, it is a brilliant ruby, with an enticing scent of black cherries, anise and tobacco. The 2004, which is the current release, is focused and bright, with soft tannins and a finish that doesn't just get up and leave.
A tremendously versatile wine, it will go just as easily with tapas, mezze and antipasti as the entire Thanksgiving spread. In the summer, serve it just slightly chilled.
—S. Irene Virbila
Region: Rioja, Spain
Price: About $26
Style: Elegant and focused
What it goes with: Tapas, mezze, antipasti, roasted and grilled meats
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; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.comhttp://www.winex.com; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com