2008 Lopez de Heredia "Vina Tondonia" Rioja Reserva, Spain (375ml)
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This has to be one of the finest vintages of Viña Tondonia Reserva of recent years. Even more rare in half bottle format. For 142 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. The Tondonia vineyard has to be is the most spectacular in Haro. Situated in a shell-like depression next to the River Ebro which serves as a border with Rioja Alavesa (the part of the Rioja appellation region belonging to the Basque Country), it is characterised by poplar trees. The soil is alluvial clay with a high proportion of limestone. The vineyards, cared for with enthusiasm and love, cover a total area of 170 hectares and produce an average annual yield of some 800,000 kg of grapes. Grapes from Viña Tondonia are always used in making our highest quality wines, and naturally, with truly exceptional vintages, becoming "Gran Reservas" if the vintage is truly exceptional - as was the case in 1976, 1973, 1970, 1968, 1964, 1961 and 1954. The first "Reserva" was bottled by the founder as long ago as 1890. A few bottles of this are still kept in the family wine museum. The wine is a vibrant red leading slightly towards amber color. The nose has fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. The palate is rich, very dry, smooth, and developed. Finishes with firm tannins and good balance.