Guessed this was my wine (only 2 left so pretty easy). Opened and poured into a new bottle 30 minutes before tasting. Light red color with substantial meniscus. Dirt, iodine, dried cherry, orange peel on nose (very unique). On palate, dried cherry, sweet cherry, apricots. High acids, medium body with faint tannins. Very long finish. Some in group thought this was an older Burgundy. Wonderful old school Rioja. 93+
Came in 2nd for WOTN.
[My note from 12/2010 - Classic old school Rioja. Very light red color - showing it's age. Apricots, burnt oak, licorice, spice box on nose. On palate, dried red fruits, red licorice, - very rich acidity and a very long finish - I can still recall the taste 24 hours later - this is one of the best wines that I have ever had]
Clearly a phenomenal wine, but this bottle was tainted by contact with the stinky wax capsule while pouring into a decanter. Make sure to remove that nasty stuff from the tip of the bottle before pouring.
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(López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia) A very long and well-stained cork removed without any notable trouble, and from beneath a wine showing fading tones, with certain maturity. From the outset this gives an evocative set of rich, gamey aromas, and although they firmed up with a little time in the decanter this was really good to go from the moment the cork was pulled. There is the sweetness of baked plum and orange peel, with high-toned edges to it, and the evolved aromas of game, leather and liquorice also quite prominent with time. Complexity is the word, I believe! A very cool, reserved, linear start to the palate, softening in texture a little through the midpalate but never completely relaxing, as there is a very firm acidity here that cuts right through everything it has on the palate. Wonderfully taut in its composition, and yet finely flattering too, with a lightly chalky background. Rich, gamey, a touch of dried fruit, but overall substantial, fresh and very impressive. Incredibly long too. Superb.
(R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia) Bricked light medium red color with pale meniscus; lovely, mature, smoke, mushroom nose; tasty, mature, mushroom, smoke, tart currant, tart red fruit palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points