75cl * 12.5% ABV * Rioja, Spain
Lopez de Heredia famously age all of its output far longer than their contemporaries - even their white wines - in order to develop the complex, oxidative aromas and flavours that come from extended maturation in oak and in bottle, and ensure that they are quite ready to drink. Aged for ten years before release.
Pair with all kinds of fish either boiled or grilled, preferably with sauce. All types of rice, including risotto-style. All different kinds of egg dishes. White meats such as chicken, turkey and pork. All pastas and cheeses. Serving temperature 14º-16º C.
Drinking Window: Now - 2028.
Producer tasting notes: "Wine developed and very balanced. Persistent, perfumed and complex nose. Round, smooth, full of persistent aromas." - Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia
"Aromas of wax, lime zest, lemon curd and cooked apple. Dried mango, too. Full body, dense and rich with incredible depth of fruit and intensity. Big and powerful yet so fresh and fruity. Texture of a top Montrachet. Drink now." 98/100 Points James Suckling (Jan 2018)
"Still unreleased (the 1994 has just been launched and this will be sold in 2016), the 1996 Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva is a wine crafted to show the longevity of the wines produced with the grapes from the Tondonia vineyard in Haro. It follows the same path as the other Grandes Reservas, being a blend of grapes (mostly Viura and some 10% Malvasía Riojana) and up to 15% of wine from other vintages used to refill the barrels during the extended ten-year aging. This is more subtle, less expressive than the 1994, and is also lighter and in need of bottle age to develop more complexity. Still, I don't think it will get to the same level as the 1994. The 1996 harvest was a bit shorter, and 6,451 bottles were produced." 95/100 Points Luis Gutiérrez - Wine Advocate (Apr 2015)
"(aged for six years in American oak barrels and then held in bottle for at least five years before release) Bright yellow-gold. Dried pear, peach pit, vanilla, marzipan and toasted brioche on the deeply perfumed, expansive nose. Chewy, densely packed and focused, offering bitter pear skin, hazelnut and anise flavors and a refreshingly bitter hint of lemon pith. Stretches out slowly with air and finishes spicy, smoky and very long, with repeating anise and pear notes and dry, minerally cut. This complex wine benefits a lot from aeration." Jancis Robinson, Vinous (Jan 2017)
"This holds a lot of verve and fresh, juicy flavor for a 16-year-old white wine, its lush pear, quince and lemon flavors focused by brisk acidity. Wood tannins come up in the end, placing the wine with meaty shellfish, like grilled langoustines or lobster." 90/100 Points Wine & Spirits (Dec 2012)