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 Vintage1993 Label 1 of 30 
TypeWhite
ProducerR. López de Heredia (web)
VarietyWhite Blend
DesignationBlanco Reserva
VineyardViña Tondonia
CountrySpain
RegionLa Rioja
SubRegionLa Rioja Alta
AppellationRioja
UPC Code(s)721384040016

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2007 and 2021 (based on 8 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.9 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 67 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by JVG on 5/2/2015: No formal notes, but this was excellent. I couldn't believe the freshness it had at 22 years old. Preserved lemon, savory oak, salinity, toasted nut, and bright acid structure. Great balance and complexity. (411 views)
 Tasted by Blauweiss on 2/28/2015 & rated 91 points: Last bottle, still great! (574 views)
 Tasted by Los 12 Glotones on 2/5/2014 & rated 90 points: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Els12golafres Wine Tasting Group: http://vinosclasicos.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/vina-tondonia-1993-blanco-reserva.html
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De color amarillo dorado, algo oscuro, limpio, reflejos dorados y ambarinos. Mucha sensación de grosor, lágrimas amplias, permanentes.

En nariz está dominado por la fruta madura y un matiz licoroso y avainillado que trae el brioche, orejones, carne de membrillo, cítricos dulces, limón escarchado. Barrica menos intrusiva de lo habitual y completamente integrada al conjunto. Despuntan suaves notas especiadas a semillas de cilantro, cúrcuma, laurel, que van ganando poco a poco más presencia. Suave, cremoso, aromático, directo, sin grandes artificios pero cumplidor.

En boca es carnoso, seco, corpulento. Muy buena acidez que da paso a un conjunto de enorme madurez con recuerdos de fruta en sazón. Adictivo, sabroso, redondo. Algo menos complejo que otras añadas pero compensado por su inmediatez. Se bebe con gran placer. No parece un vino con grandes posibilidades de envejecimiento pero sin dudas se disfruta como en pocas ocasiones.

Wine Info - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
90% viura, 10% malvasía - 12.5% vol.
Vendimia manual. Fermentación en viejas tinas de roble de 60 hectolitros sin control de temperatura. Permanece durante 6 años en barricas de roble americano de 225 litros. Sometido a 2 trasiegas manuales cada año. Clarificado con claras de huevos frescos. Embotellado directamente de la barrica sin filtrar. Permanece durante un mínimo de 9 años en los calados de la bodega antes de ser comercializado. Producción limitada a 14.000 botellas.
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 Tasted by loegaute on 2/2/2014 & rated 90 points: Noe kjelleraromaer den første halvtimen, men det blåser av. Voks, aprikos, kamfer, klor, røkte mandler og sherry. Konsentrert frukt og slank, intens syre. Følger opp aromaene i munnen. Flott, interessant vin. 90p. (2078 views)
 Tasted by aro on 1/5/2014 & rated 91 points: As always, I find this needs an hour of air to really blommos. Fine acidity and oxidative apple and nut flavors. Lovely. (2119 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 12/24/2013 & rated 92 points: Adore this special wine and drinking beautifully with firm body. See my prior note... (1955 views)
 Tasted by Blauweiss on 9/7/2013 & rated 91 points: Consistent with previous note. (2495 views)
 Tasted by honest bob on 8/25/2013 & rated 87 points: From 75cl, perfect cork. P+P, probably a mistake. Mouldy smell blew off about 15 minutes after opening. This shows its 20 years though understatement, which we felt today equalled a lack of vigour. The slender, oxidative, dry, oak-acid profile is familiar from other traditional white Riojas, but this Reserva is a cut above, with a nice saline edge to the entry and gentle tangerine-like preserved fruit. Not bowled over tonight, but if decanted a few hours it might well break through the 90P barrier. 89P(?)
Day 2: this hasn't improved, on the contrary. Now it has something distinctly unpleasantly plastic-ether-like on the mid-palate. Not a good drink in this condition. I'll settle for 87P for P+P. (1767 views)
 Tasted by igaf on 7/11/2013: Rich, full nose with marzipan, spice, honey, wax, very light VA, getting slightly nutty character with time. Quite fascinating. Full, fresh, very nicely balanced, waxy and complex. Apricots, citrus rind, aged notes on the palate. Very long, candied citrus aftertaste. (1321 views)
 Tasted by avp on 7/11/2013: A tad lifted nose with baked apple, crystallized lemon, wax, varnish, baking spices, vanilla and mushrooms.
Dry and expressive on the palate with beautiful deep acidity working its magic. Golden apple, honey, slight nuttiness, earthy notes and mushrooms. Very long and complex.
This is it. Oh yeah. And this will surely keep on going for ages.
Served blind and everybody loved this. Out of the 5 guys not knowing what was served, 3-4 more or less guessed the wine (not the vintage though). That says something about the stylistic recognizability of the wine! (1896 views)
 Tasted by octopussy on 4/15/2013 & rated 93 points: 70s Rioja and Bellota Ham: Medium yellow. In the nose, this is simply fantastic, super fresh, extremely consistent in its aromatics, harmonic, well structured and appealing. There's some lemon juice and rind, passion fruit and pineapple, some nutty notes, a touch of vanilla. On the palate, it's equally great as in the nose with great structure, lots of harmony, clear aromas and great freshness. Everything in the right place and so juicy. (2068 views)
 Tasted by Bellissimo on 4/7/2013: Brought to a dinner, didn't take detailed notes. Kept a glass in front of me for 45 minutes and checked back with it periodically. Color is starting to show some goldeness to it but still tilts more to yellow. Really liked the nose where it showed orange peel, lemon, nuts and a bit of waxiness. On the palate I got peach, citrus and tropical fruits and more nuttiness. There is a slight oxidated aspect to it but felt the mouthfeel and finish were definite strong points. This showed really well and will seek out more. (1569 views)
 Tasted by rocknroller on 4/7/2013 & rated 94 points: Monthly Tasting Group: Spain and Portugal (Rincon 38, Mpls, MN): Medium deep gold color. Drank 1 glass over an hour. This was just fantastic, extremely complex nose and palate showing a distinct earthy character, lemon, waxy, herbs, smoked nuts. The palate has incredible vitality at 20 years old, slightly oxidative, but with plenty of fruit, citrus and some tropicals, nutty, creamy and full with a very long energetic finish. This was getting better through the evening too. Very impressive and my WOTN. (1968 views)
 Tasted by sharonandroland on 3/25/2013 & rated 92 points: Perfectly drinking. Classic Tondonia. Racy, complex, long and concentrated (1558 views)
 Tasted by kingkanu on 3/25/2013 & rated 88 points: Fine wine tasting with Xavier Rousset (28-50 Fetter Lane, London): Oxidative nose, quite appealing with hints of banana, rich, oily and waxy with a long finish. (1131 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 3/17/2013: Very good quality wine - but too much like a very weak sherry for my taste (1583 views)
 Tasted by kenv on 1/31/2013 & rated 89 points: WCC Rioja Blind (Dorato's Resturant, Guilderland, NY): [Opened about 35 minutes before drinking.] Gorgeous tropical fruit nose. Very dry in the mouth. Tart tangerine. More balanced with shrimp cake. (1624 views)
 Tasted by binksmummy on 12/29/2012: lovely smooth and almost a sherry flavor, nice finish good with cream sauces (1825 views)
 Tasted by binksmummy on 12/24/2012 & rated 94 points: This is a wine that is aged for many years before release. It is complex with a golden hue. Best served ~50 degrees and aerate to allow the flavors to emerge. Best served with a creamy sauced dish to take advantage of this wine (1704 views)
 Tasted by pifcho on 10/28/2012 & rated 90 points: Nice bottle of wine but can't help to be a little disappointed especially after a fantastic 2001 regular Gravonia white which is not only a better wine for the money IMHO, but a better wine - period. This was nice with its slight oxidized salt caramel toffee and peach flavors, but felt a little low on energy throughout. The wine showed no movement over three days in the fridge, so clearly not in decline. Again - I would be happy to drink this again, but expected a little more. (2271 views)
 Tasted by Biglama on 9/11/2012 & rated 93 points: diepe gele kleur, mooi neus , oxidatieve stijl, noten, boenwas, mandarijn, veel complexiteit, smaak is nog levendig, mooie rijkdom, veel inhoud, licht plakkend, lange afdronk , zeer smakelijk, opvallende wijn, goed voor de opleiding (2924 views)
 Tasted by Porchino on 8/21/2012 & rated 90 points: Like a sherry. After all this time (1571 views)
 Tasted by WillersC on 8/12/2012 & rated 94 points: Really superb wine. Unique nose of lemon, fresh orange peel, nuts and wax. Remarkably fresh on the palate with a lovely long finish. transforms over the palate as you drink. Delcious (2827 views)
 Tasted by Paul S on 7/13/2012 & rated 91 points: I thought this was a good wine, but not all that great. I must say that I was bit under the weather for when I had it though, which could have explained why I did not like it all that much. It had a nicely intriguing nose, with orange peel and dried limes, some browned apples, shades of almond nut and beeswax and a nice whiff of something saline and sea-breezy. It was still really fresh on the palate, with bright lemony acidity running through an oily-texture, beeswaxy attacj into more slightly oxidative notes of apples and figs and another twist of savoury orange peel on the midpalate. Enjoyable except right at the very finish, where the wine seemed to thinned out a bit, losing flesh and showing its ribs of sea-shelly, slightly iodine mineral notes. I thought it was quite delicious for most part, nicely complex and certainly very interesting, but also that it was not all that complete a wine. So overall, nice, but not something to really shout about. (2706 views)
 Tasted by JulianSkeels on 7/2/2012 & rated 93 points: Great food wine (Italian or tapas), great length and great QPR. May improve for few years but no need to wait. Descriptions below are accurate. (2834 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, September/October 2011, IWC Issue #158
(R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco Rioja) Subscribe to see review text.
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (6/14/2011)
(López Heredia, Viña Tondonia Reserva Rioja White) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (6/28/2012)
(R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia) Medium golden color; savory, preserved lemon, coriander, light cumin nose; tasty, silky textured, baked lemon, mineral, preserved lemon, coriander palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points  93 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (1/8/2012)
(R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia) Light medium golden yellow color; floaty, almond, tart lemon, lemon gelee, sweet butter nose; tasty, youthful, oily textured, lemon oil, potato salad, light butter palate; long finish  93 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (10/12/2011)
(R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia) Light golden yellow color; rich, savory, mineral, baked apple nose; tasty, baked apple, mineral, savory palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points (90% Viura, 10% Malvasia)  91 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and JancisRobinson.com and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

R. López de Heredia

Producer Website

White Blend

Blend of two or more white grape varietals. One of the oldest labels in the highly competitive market for Italian grappas. Made from 85% free-run grape juice as well as distilled pips and stems, rather than the pips and stems alone

Viña Tondonia

Jay 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 and Amontillados. 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

HISTORY
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.

WINE CLASSIFICATION
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.

SUB REGIONS
Rioja Alta
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.

Rioja Alavesa
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.

Rioja Baja
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 Rioja.

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.

VINTAGE CHART
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

 
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