1999 Lopez de Heredia “Vina Tondonia” Reserva, Rioja

06022009I’ve always enjoyed seeking out things off the path. As a youth, I took great delight digging through the “bins” at the front of the record store (yes records) I worked at to find a gem that had been overlooked. Finding this wine reminded me of this.

1999. That grabbed me off the bat, but a nice Rioja at 30% off at the back of the store. Sold. This one is 75% tempranillo, 15% garnacha and 5% each of graciano and mazuel. from a family winery founded in 1877.

The other night I popped it open and decanted it. The wine was a nice garnet color with some enticing tawny hints at the edges. Great start! After a nice dinner it was time to dive in.

The nose had a nice blend of sweet spices and red fruit. Lots of cedar and anise with some light cherry and a noticeable felt tip marker edge. Interesting. A few post dinner swirls and slurps brought out more cherry and some plum to a medium body that I was glad I left until after eating. The finish was really interesting, more nice spice with some tobacco and really firm tannins and acidity. I found myself liking the finish more and more, looking forward to each sniff followed by some pretty serious tartness on the finish. This was a really cool bottle.

Even after 3 hours in the decanter, this wine certainly showed it has lots of years left in it. Kind of like finding David Bowie’s Low album in the bin for a couple of dollars way back when.

If you see it, dust it off and grab it!

$34 (regular $55) at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars

5 comments
  • http://www.justgrapeswine.com/ Shea

    I had this wine several months ago (on sale then too), and I found it somewhat confusing. It was very tart from what I remember and I wasn't sure if it was just me desiring something fruitier or if this actually was a bit unbalanced. I've had other Riojas that I've liked a lot more, but they were more modern in style. This is certainly classically styled.

  • Aaron

    I have a bottle of this tondonia that I too picked up on sale. Looking forward to popping it in a year, or two or three.
    Shea, if you get the op' pick up a bottle of Roda 1, def newer world in style with good fruit back bone.
    A.

  • http://www.justgrapeswine.com/ Shea

    Aaron, Have a bottle of the 2003 Roda 1 Reserva waiting for the right moment. Looking forward to it.

  • Aaron

    You wont be dissapointed.

  • Aaron

    You wont be dissapointed.