1991 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Blanco Gran Reserva Rioja
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light gold. Explosively perfumed nose offers an array of citrus and orchard fruits, with exotic nuances of mace, chamomile and honey. Rich and deeply pitched but almost shockingly vibrant, offering spicy pear, nectarine and lemon pith flavors. Suavely blends richness and vivacity, finishing with excellent clarity and length. This should age at a snail's pace.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1991 Vina Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva offers shaved almond, lemon rind, honeysuckle and dandelion on the well-defined nose that demands coaxing. The palate is crisp on the entry with dried honey, dried mango and citrus peel on the entry, fanning out towards a complex, resinous finish with a hint of rosewater on the aftertaste. Drink now-2020+
This mature white shows traditional character of dried apple, lanolin, herb, toasted vanilla and waxy flavors. Light-bodied, but firm and balanced, with lively acidity and a finish of ginger and spices.
This famous Spanish relic was served alongside Ex Voto white Hermitage 2005 with tartiflette and was surprisingly like it in build! Same honey colour and full body. It had a bit more obvious acidity but was less obviously sweet. Viura plus a bit of Malvasia. Very complex and at its peak it was marvellous but it faded after 30 to 40 minutes in the glass. Justifiably celebrated. 18/20 points.
This is the current, stateside release of the incomparable, Gran Reserva white wine from R. Lopez de Heredia Viņa Tondonia, the classic standard bearer of quality, traditional Rioja produced in the same bodega founded by Rafael Lopez de Heredia y Landeta in the late 19th century. Composed of mainly old vine Viura with roughly 15% old vine Malvasia from the rotunda shaped Viņa Tondonia, this wine is fermented in decades old, huge oak "tinas" before being racked to old American oak barrels and aged for years prior to bottling, at which point it ages some more. They are in no rush to make this wine, just as you should be in no hurry to drink this amazing elixir (though I would rush to buy this; as demand has increased and supplies remain the same, the availability has decreased as prices have steadily inched upwards for these classic wines).