Community Tasting Notes (43) Avg Score: 91.6 points

  • Evolved in colour, brownish, tawny in colour. Quite aged on the nose, dried fruit, figs, leather, earthy notes, a bit old and tired. On the palate soft, mellow, elegant and round. Nice aromatics, maybe lacking a bit of grip and definition. Balsamic notes, slightly bitter. 90-92

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  • Excellent. Full and plush but not overripe. Great with lamb chops. No decant was needed.

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    Els12golafres Wine Tasting Group: http://vinosclasicos.blogspot.com.es/2015/01/vina-tondonia-1976-gran-reserva.html
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    Botella lacrada en origen y no vuelta a reencorchar posteriormente. Corcho oscuro, empapado pero en muy buen estado, elástico. Ha salido sin problemas, de una pieza. Veamos: de color rubí marronoso de capa media, ligeramente turbio con finísimas partículas en suspensión (requiere ir con mucho cuidado al servir) con bastante precipitado en la base de la botella. Reflejos cobrizos, sin mucho brillo, pardizo. Ribete amplio, atejado, sin gran diferencia respecto al menisco.

    Una exhibición de perfume de Rioja clásica, de gran intensidad aunque al inicio se muestra "apestosillo" con apuntes de barro, ceniza y un fondo vegetal (¿mate cocido?) difícil de definir. Las 2 horas de espera, sin decantar, lo ponen en su sitio. De una reducción elegantísima al tiempo que potente, envolvente, con notas de cuadra y animal, faisandaje, que dan paso a un barrido otoñal de sotobosque, musgo, múrgulas y un casi apunte mineral a polvorilla y fósforo que permanece presente en todo momento pero igualmente soterrado en último término. Atractivo, complejo, sacando una mezcla de maderas viejas y frutos en licor, ciruelas pasas, higos turcos, naranja escarchada, vainilla, secundada por arreos viejos, cuero, maromas de cáñamo... Muy completo!!

    En boca es ligero en la entrada pero dotado de nervio, frescor y una acidez de gran Rioja. De perfil muy clásico, aposentado, sedoso al tacto, redondo, con un ligero toque de dulcedumbre y vainilla seguido de amargosos de aúpa. Brilla a gran nivel, competo, sólido, ganando en profundidad copa a copa. La fruta roja se muestra reducidísima, fundida como pocas veces en las notas de cuero. Una de las cosechas menos conocidas de Viña Tondonia, de las menos habituales, que se nos había escapado hasta el momento. Ya no!! Ésta no tiene nada que envidiar a los gran reserva de 1970 o 1973. A diferencia de estas dos añadas se muestra más delicado, hasta el punto de llegar a confundirnos con el Bosconia de 1978.

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    75% tempranillo, 15% garnacho, 5% graciano, 5% mazuelo - 12% vol.
    Permanece durante 6 meses en depósitos de madera de gran capacidad en los que acaba de realizar la fermentación maloláctica. Criado durante 9 años en viejas barricas de roble americano de 225 litros elaboradas por los toneleros de la misma bodega. El vino es sometido a 2 trasiegas manuales cada año. Clarificado con claras de huevo frescas. Embotellado directamente de la barrica. Sin filtrar. En este momento a todas las botellas se les coloca una cápsula de laca en el cuello que es substituida por una nueva cápsula de plomo cuando se procede al etiquetado. Producción limitada a 25.000 botellas. Descansa un mínimo de 60 meses en botellero en los calados de la bodega antes de ser comercializado.
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  • Had at Alta in NYC. Sorry to see the latest notes because our bottle was exceptional. More masculine than the '78 Bosconia we had with it. Plenty of red fruit, barnyard, leather, wood. If you like old rioja, Alta has an incredible list and very reasonably priced.

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  • Good fading ruby color. Perfumed nose of black cherries, wet moss, horse leathers and ether. High-toned and crisp in texture with earthy flavors of taut cherries, wet hay and medicinal notes. The finish is a bit austere and lacks any complexity. I've had many off-bottles of '76 Tondonia but this bottle seems in perfect condition and the wine is less than stellar and past its best. 84-

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  • No formal notes. Decanted 4 hours. This was a very good but not great GR. Although it was not offensive and offered typical rioja profile of tobacco, mint and pickled cherries, it didn't really evolve into much after significant air. In fact, it remained fairly simple and began going down hill towards the last glass or two.

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  • Almost brown color with little in the way of bouquet or flavor. This wine was quite lifeless. I am struck by the difference in description provided by other drinkers. Perhaps a bottle with questionable cellaring.

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  • Seemingly a perfectly stored bottle with a high fill and a good, clean nose but this ultimately disappointed. I'm a big fan of these wines but I'm finding that they are best when released by the winery (I've had this in the cellar for about 8 years). It's always a high-acid wine but the level here was simply too high and while it did calm down some over time and with food, it still didn't show enough balancing fruit or complexity. Will try another bottle soon to be sure.

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  • Mature wines at Marco's (Milford, CT): One of the best aged Riojas I've had in some time; so elegant, refined and polished with a lovely mature sappiness and sweetness to the red fruit flavours, and layers of leather, cedar wood and higher toned herbal and floral notes accenting the core of fruit here. This seems to be at peak now and it's absolutely compelling to drink.

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  • From memory...Red cherry, signature Lopez barnyard, still bright acidity, light yet refined body. Not likely to improve with age, yet should still drink for the next few years.

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  • Lieu-dit Cru "Blind White" Dinner Featured the Wine of Henri Boillot (L2O - Chicago IL): Aromas of mushroom, earth, leather, figs. Mature black fruit on paalte with very good textures, balance. Will keep for a long time going forward. Not quite as exciting as the 1976 Bosconia I've had a couple of times in the past year.

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  • Beautiful and soft. The softest Tondonia yet for me. It was so polite though, I was missing a little of the barnyard in it. Maybe that was just from my expectations. The wife adored it.

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  • Acker BYO 2011 (Tribeca Grill): Brought by Matt N. Very bright on the nose - orange zest, stones and meat. Very stinky. Very mature on the palate - dusty and minerally. Secondary aromas and earth. Nice sweet strawberry finish with lots of acid. Nose - 5/6, Palate - 5/6, Finish - 5.5/6, Je Ne Sais Quoi - 1/2 = 16.5/20.

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  • Sampled 12/10/11. The wax capsule was in tact and hard but the cork was very easily depressed. Fortunately the wine was in tact and its interesting red/amber color was exactly as expected. The wine was soft and elegant but a tad simple. The wine is not a dense tempranillo / granache blend, it is almost thin but still lively fruit, leather, minerals and acidity. It gets an extra point for its ageworthiness, but it is a wine I won't seek out at auction.

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  • clear brick red to pink/orange rim
    a little dried out, cherry leather
    short finish

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  • CellarTracker Wisconsin June 2011; 6/24/2011-6/25/2011 (Madison, WI- various venues): Tasted non blind at a large wine dinner. Bottle was corked. It also had an interesting nose of crickets.

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  • CellarTracker Wisconsin Offline I - Part Three - Grand Finale (Madison, WI): WIMLNR

    Garnet color in the glass, slightly dusty looking. Unfortunately it stops right here. The bottle was corked.

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  • great opportunity to try this wine.
    getting a bit older and syrupy. still has nice cherry and toffee characteristics.

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  • An excellent bottle, even if the cork turned to sawdust when I tried to remove it. Color was a light orange red and the wine itself was fairly clear with very little sediment. Nice nose of cherry, plum and tea. Still very flavorful; evocative of tart cherry. The clincher was the airy texture combined with the lively flavors. A palpable hit.

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  • Cloudy appearance. Very bright nose - red fruit and strong minerals, older brown caramel. Leafy palate - herbal, Iron and blood. Lots of acid - ouch. Very Nuits/Gevery. Nose - 5/6, Palate - 5/6, Finish - 5/6, Je Ne Sais Quoi - 0/2 = 15/20.

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  • Another great bottle of this. Red brick in the glass. Really fresh notes of cherry liquor, dried fruit and roasted chestnut (smells like a NYC street corner around the holidays). The cherry cordial flavors combine with nuts and wild herbs on the palate, with good weight, bright acidity and a long finish that brings hints of stone and carries the fruit to the end. This should drink well for another 20-30 years.

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  • Really good and on point. Bright acids, brick dust, leather and sour cherry. Very precise.

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  • Orange almost brown color upon opening. After a couple of hours in the glass, the color changed to almost deep red. Quite amazing. A very unique wine for sure. I smell dried roses on the nose. The aroma is intense and captivating. There is some sour cherry fruit as well along with cinnamon and a mark of chocolate. The wine is refined and elegant, yet penetrating on the palate. More rose petal, herbal tea and bitter, red fruit on the palate. Very complex wine. Mature, but still fresh. A serious wine, a wine one talks about and discusses. I liked it more than my parents and Susanne.

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  • Ruby to brick red color. Nose of stewed cherries, leather, earth, mint. Similar on the palate with nice tart red cherry, stewed cherry, spice, mint, earth. Good acidity. Tannins completely resolved. Lovely mature wine. No bottle variation.

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  • Wow, this is really good! Read Paul S's note below...he nailed the TN...why say more? :-)

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  • CT London Event (Hide Bar, Bermondsey, London): This was quite, quite stunning on the day. Orange brown colour showed its age, but it was alive and kicking in every other respect. Incredible nose that I could just have smelt all day. Rich plums, dark berries, rich earth and mushroom tones and a port-like dried fig note. All very lush, warm and rich. But it was on the palate where this really shown. Pure seduction - figs, prunes, dried cherries, orange peel, sour plums, haw flakes and spice, all dancing around in a complex movement with lots of fresh acidity. Silky smooth, great clarity and elegance, great balance. Was this ever alive! Beautiful length on the finish as well - more figs, lingering dried fruits and little whirls of tempranillo tobacco smoke. Charming and seductive to the end. This was as beautiful, developed and complete as an aged Rioja can get.

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  • Opened this immediately prior to drinking. Cork was saturated, which caused alot of concern (at least for me). color was almost brown; tinted red/orange, no legs. Nice nose, but a little oxidized. On the palate (particularly with cuban pork) this was very nice flavors blended nicely, brining a nice finish to an excellent meal. Towards the end of the bottle, oxidation became pronounced, and overpowering. Still, for a 33 year-old bottle of wine, I am quite pleased.

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  • Lopez de Heredia dinner at Troquet (Boston, MA): Clear dark red colour with a stunning nose showing leather, cinnamon, cherry, earth and floral elements over faintly caramelized notes. Has a silky, light mouthfeel with more cherry, cranberry, leather and mushroom flavours on the palate, good acidity and grainy tannins on the back end. Picks up weight and length with air, giving the impression that there's still plenty of time ahead here.

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  • Unbelievably high ullage. Opened easily enough. Decanted because it looked like some sediment was on the bottom, but nothing in the cheese cloth. A light almost orange-ish color, crystal clear. Very nice nose, with hints of strawberries. First taste a little passive, but well structured. flavor developed well over the next 30 minutes. A very mature wine, but nice nonetheless.

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  • López de Heredia dinner (Orson, San Francisco): Lifted aromas of strawberry, coconut, saddle leather. Sweet and vinous in the mouth, with sweet red dried strawberry, earth, tobacco and savory dried herbs. Nice broad midpalate and good if not great length. Very good.

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  • Chidaine, a Cuvee Buster, '86 Vega Sicilia and '76 Tondonia Chez Brad.: Just gorgeous aromatically. To start there's sweet red cherry aromas with baked clay, a touch of cocoanut and sweet spices before moving more into a leather and earthy character. On the palate it's like slipping into a worn leather easy chair that knows you well. It's soft and warm with an easy going character. Surprisingly supple upfront, though with air the wine picked up an orange citrus acidic character on the finish. Much more of a leather and earth persona than the nose indicated with just hints of cherry fruit. Much more intellectual than the Vega that followed, though not a better wine. Solid A-.

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  • still very tasty. the nose had a bit of the barnyard funk, but on the palate the wine was still fresh and vibrant with a long finish. very, very enjoyable bottle of wine....

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  • Faded ruby color. Fabulous nose of earthy ripe cherries, dried herbs, tobacco and red spices. Quite high-toned and intense with lovely mature earthy/cherry Rioja flavors and a wonderful spice-infused finish. Has a wonderful silky mouth-feel with uplifting fresh acidity. This is a well-stored bottle of this wine and it should continue to age effortlessly. These wines are never overly complex but show amazing freshness and purity even with decades of age and the style is growing on me.

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  • Very light but clear ruby color with a fair amount of fading. Fabulous nose of sweet red earth, cinamin spices, burnt orange peel and horse-hide. Lighter-bodied but builds to a rich, spicy, succulent finish. Quite lean rather than lush and finishes with an extra dimension of complex flavors that echo the nose. Soft and mature but still has some acidity.

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  • Lopez de Heredia Vertical (NYC): Smooth and soft with a dark tar interior. Fairly complex, more than the Bosconia.
    B+

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  • Mucho Lopez (Il Corso): This wine next to the Bosconia really dramatizes the difference between the two vineyards. This one is broader, harder, and larger in dimension although not as penetrating in flavor. It wafts out of you, whereas the Bosconia seeps into you. It finishes with vivid green tobacco and unfortunately reveals a bit of brett with some air, though fortunately not as much as the '85. Two out of eight called slight corkiness. I didn't see it but am happy to believe it could have shown better.

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  • This smelt rather old when opened. It did develop over 2 hours filling out and improving - strawberries, vanilla and mocha aromas and flavours. Subtle but not especially complex and rather too light and diffuse for my taste.

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  • Beautiful lighter ruby, some tinge of amber, but great clarity and fresh looking. Fresh forest floor, dried herbs, some sweetness as it opened up over a couple of hours. Lighter bodied, great elegance and grace of age, dried cherries, lovely balance and fully resolved, still amazingly fresh. A simply perfect wine for what it is. A fruitless woner.

    At Harvest Vine, Rick.

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  • Tasted @ Hearth Restaurant, NYC. A beautiful, Burgundian-type wine but clearly a Rioja due to the funky, woodsy flavors. A high-acid wine but balanced beautifully by delicious, ripe dark cherry fruit. Lighter-bodied and not at all a modern concentrated blockbuster - in fact, this wine is the antithesis of today's Parkerized monsters and absolutely uplifting to drink. Strikingly fresh, intense and juicy.

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  • Cherry, leathery, vanilla, and hints of cocnut (probably form the barrels) and good condition; but short. Enjoyable and smooth.

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  • Hello, earth! Here's a vivid romp in the briar patch, with mushrooms and other aromas of the forest floor augmenting the surprisingly fresh apple and raspberry fruit. The texture has a Burgundian, or I might even say Bosconian, delicacy to it that delivers the earth to the palate in style.

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  • Opened and "Audouzed" for 6 hours. A little musty smelling right after opening, but that quickly went away. Scents of dark cherries and leather and a bit of oxidation at first. With the small amount poured out into a glass, I was amazed at how deeply colored this wine was, though, naturally, there was bricking out towards the rim. As the wine opened up, more cherries and raspberries showed up. On the palate, flavors came and went throughout the evening and it had wonderful light weight in the mouth with nice acidity. When they were there, tastes of sweet cherries, raspberries and leather were delicious. The finish was a bit short. All in alll, a very nice wine, though not nearly as complex as I would have expected.

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  • This was better than the '81. Nice fruit of cherries. Perfectly open after around 3 minutes out of the bottle. Just round and well structured. Not a very complex wine. Just perfect. Wow!

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