Wine from Spain still is a rare sight here. But between the years and as the end of the year in the blog, after the last bottle, it is a classic once again. The López de Heredia winery was founded in 1877 and today cultivates an impressive 170 hectares of vines. However, the estate is still family-owned and the tradition of winemaking has been passed down through the generations. The Viña Tondonia Reserva consists mainly of Tempranillo. Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo are also added. It is aged for six years in wooden barrels and then allowed to mature for several years after bottling before being sold. This is a luxury that you have to want and be able to afford, and measured against the long time that the wine spends on the winery and not on sale, the just over 30 euros per bottle are actually really cheap.
The Reserva starts directly with intense red fruit. Berries, so fresh that they seem almost sweet, and a bit of cherry. In addition, there are herbs. There is something else that I know and that is literally on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s rather cool, fresh and lively in the mouth. You can’t feel the ageing at all, but the wine isn’t closed or impetuous either. The coolness and elegance are great. The tannin is perfectly integrated, gives a very slight edge at the back, but doesn’t get in the way. The smell gets deeper and more complex with every minute. So much fits in the nose right at the beginning. Wow. The better half throws cherry liqueur with forest floor into the room. Or plums.
This freshness lasts for the next few hours. From opposite the table I here now “I know that smell from somewhere”, but we just can’t nail it down. That only frustrates us for a moment though, because the wine is so great. Some cassis, aronia juice, cherries, plus a bit of smoke and wood. Surrounded by this perfect tannin and the complex aroma, this is a great red wine.
Overnight, the tannin becomes a little more present. The smell is now even more complex and dense than on the first evening. We smell some pencil point alongside the berries and also a bit of meat juice. A wine appearing so young and fresh and at the same time have so much depth was impressive and I can well imagine that this will get better and better for many years to come. But even now the Reserva works quite well with braised beef and even afterwards without any food it also is a blast.
- La Rioja Alta - Gran Reserva 904 2010
- Benedikt Baltes - Klingenberg Spätburgunder 2016
- Matassa - Brutal Rouge 2018