1981 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Blanco Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1034830

93 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "True gold, but remarkably youthful for its age. W ild, complex bouquet of pungent flowers, succulent herbs, orange peel, violet, vanilla, toasted nuts and baking spices. Rich, deep and beautifully concentrated, with surprising energy to the ripe pear and poached apple flavors complemented by marzipan and vanilla. This actually tightens up on the finish, showing a lingering exotic, spicy character. You could drink this right now or even hold it for a few more years." (Sept/Oct 2006) 93 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The richly-colored 1981 Vina Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva captures the essence of this house’s wines. It is a wine of great complexity as well as contrasts. At once mature yet seemingly ageless, full-bodied yet somehow also miraculously delicate, it displays evolved sensations of earthiness, smoke, roasted nuts and dried apricots in a more oxidative style with great persistence on the palate and enough acidity to make me think it will drink well for at least another ten or so years. 93 Anticipated maturity: 2006-2016." (Oct. 2006)90 points from Wine Spectator: "An odd yet complementary mix of firm acidity with mature flavors of dried, honeyed fruit gives this white distinctive character. Notes of tangerine and clove linger on the finish. Not for everyone, but unique. Viura and Malvasia. Drink now. 1,665 cases made." (Mar. 31, 2007)

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Price: $199.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/9/2009 | Send Email
Lopez de Heredia is without a doubt one of the most traditional wineries in the whole of Spain. It represents to me the very spirit of this fascinating country. THIS is Spanish wine! Call me a purist, old fashioned, and I'll just smile and reach for the nearest bottle of Lopez de Heredia. If you are interested in Spanish wines, I urge you to visit their website. It's very comprehensible and in English. For me to describe this wine to you, I have to quote them: "To talk in our bodega of white wines being exclusively young and uncomplicated, would be asking for trouble" - Indeed! The 1981 is of course, much deeper and more profound than the Gravonia 1999. Absolutely stunning for those into a perfectly aged white wine and still so fresh besides its age. Intensely honeyed with lanolin, walnuts and dried flowers. A classic pairing with octopus and garlic, Paella, spicy sausages, all sorts of Salt Cod recipes, tapas and even Risotto (specially a seafood one).

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/6/2009 | Send Email
This wine is almost indescribable in its character and complexity. It actually takes a little time to open up, so I do encourage a short decant or aeration before serving...not too long though. It first opens with cedar and notes of fine tobacco. We joked that it was like "cream of cigar box". But in a good way!! The wine develops generous dried citrus notes, hints of quince and a lovely dulce de leche character. This is a true wine of intrigue, subtlety and balance.

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- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.