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|Drinking Windows and Values|
|Drinking window: Drink between 2011 and 2021 (based on 13 user opinions)|
|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 53 notes) - and median of 90 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by Bruce 1er on 6/18/2016 & rated 92 points: Straw color. Dry, with a touches of toasted almonds, persimmon, and earth. Crisp, with soft acid and minerals in the finish. Outstanding with sardines. No doubt the acid has contributed to its longevity. Footnote: the cork is in great shape, looks almost new. (106 views)|
| ||Tasted by ttholst on 4/30/2016 & rated 90 points: Lukt og smak av moden gul frukt, honning og mandler. Lett oxpreg (302 views)|
| ||Tasted by SimonG on 12/10/2015 & rated 92 points: Work Wine Tasting - Spain (Home): Nicely golden. Waxy with lanolin, vanilla and a touch of furniture polish on the nose. Rich with plenty of grippy bite. A dry richness here. Lots of interest. Long. **** (923 views)|
| ||Tasted by SimonG on 4/6/2015 & rated 92 points: Two bottles, consistent notes. Full gold. Wax, lanolin and vanilla on the nose alongside a fresher more mineral edge. Rich and creamy but also mineral and fresh and focused. A class act. Deceptively drinkable but so much there if you stop to take note. It is in the oxidative Tondo style, but won't scare the horses. **** (1474 views)|
| ||Tasted by manonthemoon on 7/25/2014 & rated 91 points: Notes from night 1, bottle open for about 3 hours.|
Medium gold in color.
Nose of honey, sherry, wax, minerals, dried lemon.
Palate of honey, sherry, wax, lemon, little lanolin, little butter present as well.
The finish was long in length, still good acidity present.
Overall the wine was interesting and if you like oxidative styled wines, you'll probably like this one.
Drink or hold: 50+5+12+17+7
4 (2239 views)
| ||Tasted by Los 12 Glotones on 1/28/2014 & rated 87 points: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
Els12golafres Wine Tasting Group: http://vinosclasicos.blogspot.com.es/2013/08/vina-tondonia-1992-blanco-reserva.html
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De color dorado-ambarino muy intenso, la más evolucionada de todas las añadas de principios de los 90. Destellos anaranjados, con fuerte sensación de grosor, lágrimas gruesas, permanentes.
Algo tímido al inicio, de media intensidad. No acaba de abrirse del todo en un par de horas de cata. Inicialmente predominan los aromas de crianza clásica riojana, duelas envinadas, panal y un apunte desconcertante de incienso y especias (nuez moscada, curry) que vienen y se van. Hay notas de fruta de hueso, pan de higo, compota de naranja amarga, almendras amargas, suaves enranciados. Correcto, sin excesos.
En boca se muestra confitado y menos vivo que en otras cosechas. Mantiene las características de la bodega pero en un grado de intensidad menor de lo habitual. Gran dosis de fruta sobremadura, amielados, orejones, con un apunte de dulcedumbre y un muy leve exceso de barrica avainillada que no se ha acabado de integrar del todo. Una pequeña decepción. Para nuestro gusto se trata del reserva más flojo producido desde que desapareció el 6º Año Blanco en 1981. Viene algo justo de frescor y se echa de menos más garra y energía.
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90% tempranillo, 10% graciano y mazuelo - 12.5% vol.
La tempranillo proviene de los viñedos propios más viejos ubicados en subzona de la Rioja Alta, principalmente de los municipios de Briñas, Labastida y Villalba. El resto de la uva es originaria de las fincas Melchorón I y II de Briones y Rodezno.
Permanece durante 7 meses en viejas tinas de roble centenarias en las que finaliza fermentación maloláctica. En mayo de 1993 el vino es trasegado a barricas de roble americano de 225 litros. Es sometido a crianza durante 54 meses con un total de 9 trasiegas manuales para eliminarse el "poso" formado y oxigenarse ligeramente. Embotellado directamente de barrica, sin filtrar, en noviembre de 1997. Un mínimo de 4 años de guarda en botellero en los calados de la bodega antes de ser comercializado.
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| ||Tasted by rwpalmer on 12/29/2013: I'd rate this as anywhere from 82-92 depending on your perspective. I'm somewhere in the middle. A pleasant and not over-deep gold. Nose of lanolin and lots of not terribly clean oak. But the palate was fresh on the first night with the oxidative characters integrated into the whole. Quite light bodied. A mess the second night. You won't want many glasses of this curious style so share the interest widely. (2834 views)|
| ||Tasted by SimonG on 10/18/2013 & rated 92 points: A Ledbury lunch (The Ledbury, London): Mid straw to light gold. Lovely nose, very rounded and waxy. Smooth, slightly oxidative, wax, lanolin and a touch of apricot kernel. Long. Harmonious. Showing very well and a long life ahead. **** (3006 views)|
| ||Tasted by rexmerlot on 10/4/2013 & rated 91 points: Clear golden yellow in color. Clean nose of honey, apple and butter. Dry, med acidity, med body, butter, fig, and some herbacius notes. Nice finish. Great wine. Hard to believe it is over 20 yrs in age. (2398 views)|
| ||Tasted by Audun G on 5/11/2013 & rated 92 points: Not the Sherry-like Rioja that I expected. Just great vibrant fruit. Butter and honey on the nose, which could remind about a Burgundy. Extremely concentrated, with great acidity. Very youthful. It is difficult to believe this is more than 20 years old. I guess it will develop for decades. (2273 views)|
| ||Tasted by larsrog on 1/5/2013 & rated 92 points: Amazing match with raked fish.|
Very intense mature fruit. Excellent lenght. Fat, butter. (2184 views)
| ||Tasted by french16 on 9/29/2012: Butter, fresh white almond. Same on the palate, med body with medium acidity. Some herbs, very light oxidative notes. Sea water note. Interesting wine ! (2748 views)|
| ||Tasted by SimonG on 9/28/2012 & rated 92 points: Mid to full straw. Richer and rounder on the nose (and palate) than the 02 Gravonia. A touch of caramel, slightly honied, some citrus, nicely waxy, slightly oily texture and a long, slightly nutty, brown butter finish. Very smooth and poised. Complex. Consistent across several bottles in the last couple of years. **** (2654 views)|
| ||Tasted by cardsandwine on 8/27/2012: This bottle was terrific. Wonderful acidity and balance with glorious pure fruit. (1893 views)|
| ||Tasted by viadomitia on 8/11/2012 & rated 91 points: TASTE THE DIFFERENCE!!! This wine gets 91 as much for the originality and difference as anything else. Strong nose of turpentine dominates. Dry mineral, green grape and herbacious... all of that after 20 years. Quite incredible an accomplishment that a white would be so bright and lively after so long. There is not even a hint that it is fading. Drank first with saucisson and fig... not quite ethe right match. But once we got into the fish and potato green been salad, both of which were appointed with a lot og fresh herbs, lemon and lime, this was heavenly. Definitely not a regular sauvignon or chardonnay. Definitely worth the experience. This was my first Tondonia and I will get some more when I come by some. (2387 views)|
| ||Tasted by Xavier Auerbach on 8/5/2012 & rated 92 points: Incredibly fresh, tight and mineral, citrus, linen and seashell nose, can this wine really be twenty years old? On the palate hints of lanolin, honey, old wood and candied fruit give it away, but the intensity and energy are really quite amazing. Finishes nutty and long. Long life. Wow. (2058 views)|
| ||Tasted by AIB on 7/18/2012 & rated 85 points: so so - pretty disappointed. (1733 views)|
| ||Tasted by -E- on 2/11/2012 & rated 90 points: Klar, mørk, gullgul. Rik og kompleks nese med modne gulfruktaromaer ispedd, voks, krydder og hint av botrytis. Konsentrert, knusktørr og med en noe hard, moden, litt voks- og treverkpreget lett bitter frukt i munnen. Smørfet, krydret avslutning med en nydelig spisset syre som kommer frem helt til slutt. Lang ettersmak. Interessant vin, men faller litt sammen etter å ha vært åpen en stund. (2486 views)|
| ||Tasted by ChateauTooting on 1/22/2012: Very delicious wine, acidic and saline, yet gorgeous enchanting nose that keeps inviting you in. Certainly very much alive and a long life ahead as it opened up very slowly. Much better than the previous bottle that was somewhat overshadowed by the 1991. (2095 views)|
| ||Tasted by larserikm on 12/31/2011 & rated 88 points: My 2nd bottle, had this with hommous, cheeses and various tapas. Bone dry, nice acidity, slightly sherry-ish nose. Definately not a crwod-pleaser but even my less wine-expereinced friends liked this as a tapas wine. Will probably stand another few years in the cellar. (2297 views)|
| ||Tasted by stiang on 11/14/2011 & rated 89 points: En god, men spesiell vin. Gikk meget fint til mixed paella, og til serranoskinke. (2736 views)|
| ||Tasted by pereik on 10/2/2011 & rated 88 points: Nose of too ripe yellow fruits. Bitter nuts and dry wood in the mouth. Bone dry and with a nive acidic backbone. |
Sublime with stew with lamb and cabbage (får-i-kål). This is a notoriously difficult traditional course to match up with wine. Once again professional advice (Merete Bø i Dn) did the wonders.
PS! Bottle variation is huge. (2405 views)
| ||Tasted by king-bing on 9/17/2011: Fair amount of gold in the colour. Slightly oxodative nose, with a saline quality too. Palate is fabulously peircing. Great acidity, freshness and precision. No fruit mto speak of. Rather a weightlessness and persistence Finish really is bone dry. A wine that impressed a non wine geek crowd on this occasion. No hurry at all to drink (this is R Lde H after all). Great stuff. (2477 views)|
| ||Tasted by Russell Faulkner on 8/24/2011: A hint of ash on the nose, soft yellow fruit, low acid? grassy. (2679 views)|
| ||Tasted by SimonG on 8/23/2011: Ian S's Blind at The Medlar (The Medlar, London): Full straw. Dusty, waxy, lanolin and wet wool. Very fresh. Lemon. Some mineral. Lovely. **** (2955 views)|
| ||Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)
|By Josh Raynolds|
Vinous, September/October 2010, IWC Issue #152
(R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco Rioja) Subscribe to see review text.
R. López de Heredia Producer Website
1992 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña TondoniaCHARACTERISTICS OF THE VINTAGE:
In Rioja we harvested 175 million litres. In López de Heredia we started the harvest in October 10, the most typical moment for the highest area of Rioja.The vegetative cycle was long, of 212 days.The quantity of rain was very high (673 litres/m2) and also at the wrong moment. It rained a lot during floration and this avoid the Tempranillo to produce correctly. It also rained during the harvest which helped the development of the botritys.And were all these problems the ones that condition the decision of the moment of harvesting making it even more important than in a normal year.That is the reason why the year was very good for the ones who decide well and harvested soon and worst for the ones who waited. In Viña Tondonia we harvested 40.000 kilos of white grapes:Viura and Malvasía.The wine has evolved very well maintaining its character of freshness and it is prepared for a long bottle aging.
COLOUR: Colour natural gold, developed. NOSE: Nose fresh, complex and developed.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Viura (90%), Malvasía (10%), all from our own vineyards.
AGEING PERIOD: Barrel: 6 years, being racked twice per year and fined with fresh egg whites. Bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.
ALCOHOL VOLUME: 12,5% Vol.
TOTAL ACIDITY: 6 Gr/l.
RESIDUAL SUGAR: Very dry.
GASTRONOMY: Perfect with all kind of fish, no matter the way cooked. Grilled seafood.Well seasoned white meat.
STORAGE TEMPERATURE: 10 years in perfect condi- tions of constant temperature (57oF / 14oC) and humidity (75-80%)
SERVING TEMPERATURE: 57o to 61o F (14o-16o C) depending of mood and place.
QUANTITY MADE: 16,800 bottles. 1,400 cases of 12 bottles.
White BlendBlend of three white grapes varietal. Treixadura, Loureiro and Albariño
Viña TondoniaJay Miller in WA, June 2010
A visit to the venerable Bodega Lopez de Heredia, located in the Rioja Alta capital of Haro, is akin to entering a time machine taking you back 100 years. Construction of the Bodega began in 1877 and continues without any apparent changes to the present day. The winery is operated by the voluble Maria Jose Lopez de Heredia, her sister Mercedes, and their father Pedro, still active into his 80s. All of the wines are produced from estate grown bush vines. Tondonia and Bosconia are two different vineyards; Bosconia has a larger percentage of Tempranillo and a different orientation. For an excellent overview of the estate, read Eric Asimov’s blog in the New York Times dated August 11, 2009.
Spain Vinos de España - Wines of Spain (Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior) | Wikipedia
Spain is the third largest wine producing nation in the world, occupying the majority of the Iberian Peninsula with vast diversity in climate, culture, and of course, wine. From inky, dark reds of the [Priorat] to dry, white Finos from Andalusia, Spain can easily boast of elaborating a wide variety of notable styles. Within Spain there are currently 62 demarcated wine regions, of which a handful have gained international recognition: [Rioja], Priorat and [Ribera del Duero]. Yet these regions are only a small sample of the high quality wines Spain produces. Regions such as Cava, Penedes, Somontano, Galicia, Rueda and Jerez are only a few of the numerous regions worthy of exploration throughout Spain. Spain can also lay claim to having the most land under vine in the world, growing up to, by some accounts, 600 indigenous varietals of which Tempranillo is their most well known. Other popular varietals include [Garnacha], Bobal and Monastrell for reds and for whites; the infamous Palomino Fino grape which is used in the production of sherry wine, Pedro Ximenez in Montilla Morilles, Albarino used in the creation of the bright, effervescent wines of Galicia, and Verdejo in Rueda. - Source: - Catavino.net
Spain is not in the forefront of winemaking for its dessert wines, other than for its sweet wines from Sherry country including the highly revered Olorosos (when sweetened). But apart from Sherry Spain has a range of styles of dessert wines, ranging from the those made from the Pedro Ximenez grape primarily in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles) to luscious, red dessert wines made in the Mediterranean from the Garnacha (Grenache) grape. Some good Moscatels are made in Mallorca, Alicante and Navarre. The northwest corner of Spain, Galicia, with its bitter Atlantic climate, is even making dessert wines, called “Tostadillos” in the village of Ribadivia (similar to France’s “Vin de Paille”). The Canary Islands have made interesting dessert wines for centuries (they are mentioned by Shakespeare, for example) and in recent years the quality of winemaking has been improved and the Canary Islands wines are being better marketed now. The winemaking styles for “Vinos Dulces” are also diverse, from “Late Harvest” (Vendimia Tardía) to “Fortified Wines” (Fermentación Parcial). Based on in-spain.info.
La Rioja Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja - Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja
Rioja Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja - Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja
The wine region of La Rioja in Spain was first demarcated by the area's governing body, the Consejo Regulador, in 1926. The region extends for approximately 120 kilometres along both sides of the Ebro River and is, at its widest point, bounded by mountains on either side. In fact, the word 'Rioja' is a derivation of the two words 'Rio' (River) and 'Oja (the name of a tributary of the Ebro that runs right through La Rioja creating a series of microclimates and providing much needed water for the vines).
La Rioja has always been a vital part of Spain's history. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, and finally, medieval Crusaders have all played a part in the area's history. The Romans, however, made wine a part of their culture wherever they travelled, and La Rioja was no exception. Ancient sites of Roman wineries still exist in and around the area today.
After the Romans came the Moors, and winemaking all but ceased. It wasn't until after the famous 'El Cid' liberated Spain, and medieval Christianity brought trade via the Crusaders through the region, that it flourished again. The Benedictine monks of Cluny in Burgundy, known for their viticulture, helped to establish three monasteries in the area. The vines they planted were mostly white grapes. In the fourteenth century, English traders acquired a taste for a local Rioja wine, which was a blend of white and red wines called Blancos Pardillos. Over time, development of lighter reds came about satisfying eighteenth century English and French courts.
The real improvements to Rioja's viticulture began around 1780 when the need to prolong wine during transport brought about experimentation with different woods and preservatives. Studies were made of the techniques used by great chateaux in Bordeaux. With the outbreak of the Peninsular War, progress was halted until 1852, when the Bordelais came south to Rioja seeking vines because their vineyards had been blighted with oidium. French winemaking methods were eagerly taken up by great rivals the Marques de Murrieta and Marques de Riscal (who both claim to have been the first in Rioja to make wine in the Bordeaux fashion).
When phylloxera devastated Bordeaux in the 1870s and the French influence really took hold in Rioja, many of the region's finest bodegas started production on what we now consider as the great wines of Rioja. It’s important to remember that Bordeaux winemaking methods then were very different to those employed today in France, and involved long ageing in barrel, a factor that the Riojans took up enthusiastically. So enthusiastically in fact that to this day there are a number of Bodegas that still make their wine in a surprisingly similar fashion to that of the Bordelais in the later part of the 1800s and this also explains why oak ageing is such an important part of Riojan winemaking.
USE OF OAK
Pronounced vanilla flavours in the wines are a trademark of the region though some modern winemakers are experimenting with making wines less influenced by oak. Originally French oak was used but as the cost of the barrels increased many bodegas began to buy American oak planks and fashion them into barrels at Spanish cooperages in a style more closely resembling the French method. This included hand splitting the wood, rather than sawing, and allowing the planks time to dry and 'season' in the outdoors versus drying in the kiln. In recent times, more bodegas have begun using French oak and many will age wines in both American and French oak for blending purposes.
In the past, it was not uncommon for some bodegas to age their red wines for 15-20 years or even more before their release. One notable example of this is Marqués de Murrieta which released its 1942 vintage Gran Reserva in 1983 after 41 years of ageing. Today most bodegas have shifted their winemaking focus to wines that are ready to drink sooner with the top wines typically ageing for 4-8 years prior to release though some traditionalists still age longer. The typical bodega owns anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 oak barrels.
The use of oak in white wine has declined significantly in recent times when before the norm was traditionally 2-5 years in oak. This created slightly oxidised wines with flavours of caramel, coffee, and roasted nuts that did not appeal to a large market of consumers. Today the focus of white winemakers has been to enhance the vibrancy and fruit flavours of the wine.
Most Riojan Bodegas believe that the ageing of a wine should be the responsibility of the producer rather than that of the consumer, and this is why much Rioja is more mature than wines from other countries. Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, simply labelled 'Rioja', or 'Sin Crianza' (meaning 'without ageing') is the youngest, spending less than a year in oak. A "Crianza" is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which is in oak. 'Reserva' is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, 'Gran Reserva' wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessarily produced each year. Also produced are wines in a semi-crianza style, those that have had a couple of months of oak influence but not enough to be called a full crianza. The designation of Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva might not always appear on the front label but may appear on a neck or back label in the form of a stamp designation known as Consejo.
Located on the western edge of the region, and at higher elevations than the other areas, the Rioja Alta is known for more fruity and concentrated wines which can have very smooth texture and mouth feel.
Despite sharing a similar climate as the Alta region, the Rioja Alavesa produces wines with a fuller body and higher acidity. Vineyards in the area have a low vine density with large spacing between rows. This is due to the relatively poor conditions of the soil with the vines needing more distance from each other and less competition for the nutrients in the surrounding soil.
Unlike the more continental climate of the Alta and Alavesa, the Rioja Baja is strongly influenced by a Mediterranean climate which makes this area the warmest and driest of the Rioja. In the summer months, drought can be a significant viticultural hazard, though since the late 1990s irrigation has been permitted. Temperatures in the summer typically reach 95°F. Twenty percent of the vineyards actually fall within the Navarra appellation but the wine produced from the grapes is still allowed to claim the Rioja designation. The predominant grape here is the Garnacha which prefers the hot conditions, unlike the more aromatic Tempranillo. Consequently Baja wines are very deeply coloured and can be highly alcoholic with some wines at 18% alcohol by volume. The wines typically do not have much acidity or aroma and are generally used as blending components with wines from other parts of
The Riojans are master blenders (as they have to be because there are relatively few single estates in the area, the norm being to blend from a wide variety of vineyards and wine areas). Consequently they are able to reduce vintage variation by careful blending and many of the best wines vary relatively little between vintages.
VITICULTURE & GRAPES
Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). Rioja has a total of 57,000 hectares cultivated, yielding 250 million litres of wine annually, of which 85% is red. The harvest time for most Rioja vineyards is September-October with the northern Rioja Alta having the latest harvest in late October. The soil here is clay-based with a high concentration of chalk and iron (which provides the redness in the soil that may be responsible for the region's name, Rioja, meaning red). There is also significant concentration of limestone, sandstone and alluvial silt.
Among the Tintos, the best-known and most widely-used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. A typical blend will consist of approximately 60% Tempranillo and up to 20% Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. Each grape adds a unique component to the wine with Tempranillo contributing the main flavours and ageing potential to the wine; Garnacha adding body and alcohol; Mazuelo adding seasoning flavours and Graciano adding additional aromas.
With Rioja Blanco, Viura is the prominent grape (also known as Macabeo) and is sometimes blended with some Malvesia and Garnacha Blanca. In the white wines the Viura contributes mild fruitness, acidity and some aroma to the blend with Garnacha Blanca adding body and Malvasia adding aroma. Rosados are mostly derived from Garnacha grapes. The 'international varieties' of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have gained some attention and use through experimental plantings by some bodegas but their use has created wines distinctly different from the typical Rioja.
Some of the most sought after grapes come from the limestone/sandstone based 'old vine' vineyards in the Alavesa and Alta regions. These 40 year old plus vines are prized due to their low yields and more concentrated flavours. A unique DO regulation stipulates that the cost of the grapes used to make Rioja must exceed by at least 200% the national average of wine grapes used in all Spanish wines.
Rioja (Red) Year %
2004 Superb vintage, classic wines Drink or Hold 94
2003 Hot, dry year, long-ageing wines Drink or Hold 91
2002 Smallest vintage in 10 years. Variable quality.
Keep to top names Drink or Hold 87
2001 Excellent year for long ageing Reservas
and Gran Reservas Drink or Hold 94
2000 A generally good vintage with fine Reservas Drink or Hold 89
1999 Smaller vintage of good quality Drink or Hold 88
1998 Good vintage Drink or Hold 97
1997 Unexciting so far, but quaffable Drink or Hold 84
1996 Good year, plenty of ageing potential Drink or Hold 89
1995 Very good vintage, Reservas now showing excellent fruit Drink or Hold 92
1994 Outstanding, some great long-ageing wines Drink or Hold 94
1993 Lesser wines, apart from best-known names Drink 77
1992 Rather light vintage Drink 80
1991 Still improving, average quality Drink or Hold 85
1990 Fairly ordinary but quaffable Drink 84
1989 Good, firm structure Drink 88
Rioja Reserva & Gran Reserva – Vintages of the Eighties Year %
1989 Goodish vintage, well balanced Drink 88
1988 Fairly good vintage, well balanced wines Drink 88
1987 Very attractive vintage, now at peak Drink 90
1986 Average year, now drinking well Drink 87
1985 Average year, now drinking well Drink 87
1984 Disappointing, with problem weather Avoid 80
1983 Don't keep it any longer Drink 86
1982 Now past its best Drink 83
1981 Superb wines, finest will keep longer Drink 90
1980 Average vintage, don't keep any longer Drink 86