López de Heredia - Rioja Gran Reserva 'Viña Tondonia' 2001
For 145 years, four generations of the López de Heredia family have devoted themselves to producing exceptional and unique wines. Masterpieces which have achieved that which the founder of the company, Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, defined in the late nineteenth century as the "Supreme Rioja".
Vineyard care, a scrupulous selection of grapes, ageing in oak barrels in the heart of deep underground galleries, and the later ageing in bottles, all contribute to making these illustrious wines with their exceptional bouquet.
For a long time, the López de Heredia wines received different names depending on the style of the winemaking process, but today, just as the founder had envisioned in his earliest quest for perfection, "Tondonia" is famous throughout the world.
"The 2001 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva is the follow-up of the 1995. There is a sense of harmony and elegance, of nuance and subtleness that wasn't quite the same in the Bosconia, as comparing both wines is inevitable. They started picking the red grapes the 15th of October, and the last grapes were picked the 29th of October with good weather. The grapes ripened properly and thoroughly, and the wine has great balance for a long aging in bottle. This is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo that fermented in their 153-year-old oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in used barrels for 10 years. It has 13% alcohol, a pH of 3.4 and 6.4 grams of acidity (tartaric). The nose shows young (tasting it blind, you'd guess a 10-year old wine, not a 20-year-old wine!). It has a nose of sweet spices, underbrush and cigar ash, somewhat balsamic, bramble fruit with perfect ripeness, integrated and young but starting to show some tertiary complexity. The palate is velvety and medium-bodied, with fine-grained, chalky tannins denoting a limestone soil that brings finesse and texture and a sapid, tasty, almost salty finish. This is going to make a beautiful bottle of old Rioja in 30 years' time! 25,000 bottles produced. It was bottled after being fined with egg whites in July 2012." - 98 points, Wine Advocate
"Wow. This is really something on the nose, offering ripe plums that are highlighted with old and used leather, walnut and cedar, reminiscent of the interior of a fine vintage sports car. Full-bodied with very fine tannins and delicious, ripe fruit that continues on for minutes. Tile and dark berry at the end. Still tight and fresh for the vintage. A great wine. Drink or hold." - 97 points, James Suckling