R. LÓPEZ DE HEREDIA, VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA
RIOJA, SPAIN 2009
Rioja has been having a terrific run — 2020's Wine Spectator Wines of the Year awarded the top spot to a Rioja — and the hits just keep coming.
This marvelous wine comes from one of the region's grandest houses, López de Heredia. Over the course of its 150-year history, it has not only produced delicious, critically-acclaimed wines; it has been a pace-setter. As Wine Spectator aptly wrote, more than a generation ago, it "set the standards by which the region's modern reds must be judged."
All that tradition, and at a price that still makes us shake our heads in admiration.
You'll often hear wine lovers talk about the great value that certain regions possess. Rioja remains one of the greatest of great values, and here's why:
Bordeaux and Napa Valley often release their top wines with the expectation that collectors will continue to age them over many years. Not so in Rioja, where wineries, intent on providing an optimal experience of a vintage, tend to release their Reserva and Gran Reserva Rioja when they are already far along in their evolution.
This 2009 Tondonia, already aged 13 years, is a great example. It has the grace and suppleness of a wine entering its optimal drinking window, which, coupled with the craft on display in every sip, makes it hard to resist opening right now.
A few more words about that sense of craft, if I might.
The estate is a staunch traditionalist, with the old ways generally regarded as the best ways. The current winemaker is fourth-generation María José López de Heredia, and she leans on time-honored methods and practices. Fermentation takes place in large oak vats, some of which are more than 100 years old. After fermentation, the wines age in American oak barrels for a minimum of 3 to 10 years. Bottle aging follows for a minimum of 3 years for Crianzas and 10 years for Gran Reservas.
It all adds up to a Rioja that separates itself from the field, with purity and harmony reigning over power and intensity — a welcome and wonderful thing, in our estimation, bringing an elegance to the leather and spice that are so characteristic of Rioja.
A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano, it showed its strengths immediately in our recent tastings, among them plushness, structure, concentration, and acidity.
James Suckling was equally enamored, awarding 97 points and notating his drinking experience with delightful exuberance: "Sweet berries, cherries, cedar and dried flowers on the nose. Some lemon and lime zest, too! Medium-to full-bodied with tight, integrated tannins that show wonderful length and reserve. So fresh and vivid. Lots of energy. A wonderful, classic wine."
Take advantage of our special Concierge Family pricing and snag this Rioja gem for your cellar as well as your table!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CT, DE, MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, February 6, 2022.