1994 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Gran Reserva Rioja
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1994 Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva has an elegant bouquet with light red cherries, orange blossom, mahogany bureau and burnt buttered toast. The palate has a meaty, savory entry with crisp tannins and racy acidity. It displays superb structure towards the finish where one finds notes of bitter lemon, orange peel and sage. Delicious! Drink now-2030+
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(75% tempranillo, 15% garnacha, 5% graciano and 5% mazuelo): Full red. Wild, highly perfumed aromas of candied cherry, plum, anise, cured tobacco, Asian spices and vanilla, with smoke and allspice nuances. Sappy, seamless and expansive, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and suggestions of candied rose and spicecake. In the glass, takes on weight with no loss of vivacity. Silky tannins build on and carry through a very long, smoke- and mineral-accented finish. No way I'd have guessed that this was an 18-year-old wine.
This wine had so much more richness and life on the nose than the two grand clarets at about the same price poured alongside (Chapelle de la Mission 2007 and Gruaud Larose 2003). A touch gamey after all those years in American oak but without any trace of decay. Admirable freshness.
Lopez de Heredia makes some of the most traditional wines in Rioja. Wines that are elegant, lithe, ageworthy (and often ageless), ethereal, and must haves for any serious cellar. If the Bosconia gran reservas mimic very good, aged Burgundy, Tondonia would be the Bordeaux counterpart. As the cellar keeps an extensive library, in their constantly cool, humid, mold covered cellar, the provenance of these bottles is typically first rate. Lopez de Heredia: true artisans, keepers of the flame, and if you ask us, a Spanish national treasure.