1954 Lopez de Heredia "Vina Tondonia" Rioja (Pre-Arrival)
The 1954 Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva displays the classic Tondonia nose, with suggestions of tobacco, minerals and alcohol. Less expressive on the palate, it shows sweet, perfumed dark fruit with excellent length. Although all the elements of a great wine are there, for some reason they just don’t seem to come together and this bottle isn’t completely representative. (AG)
Bright crimson. Complex, tobacco - even cigars – nose. Very demanding and bone dry. Much drier than most rioja. But it still has life. Vibrant and delicate and racy – choose food with this with care. Long and very fresh.
1954 was a solid vintage in Rioja and you do see them in the US market from time to time. Prior to the 1980's, distinctions between bottles labeled Gran Reserva, Reserva or cosecha were less common than these days, where it is all strictly controlled by the consejo. This cosecha bottling is still showing well, with Tondonia's trademark darker fruits, cocoa powder and elegance, along with the celery salt and savor developed in bottle one would expect from a 60+ year old bottle of red wine! A bottle tasted from this collection in September of 2016 showed nicely, fully mature with a marked increase in freshness once in the glass for a few minutes. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)