Just about any bottle of López de Heredia is enough to make most wine geeks swoon. But, when we put five in a room armed with glasses and this bottle of Viña Tondonia Reserva, 1998, the atmosphere quickly became ‘fan girly’.
We had started the evening with a Viña Gravonia, Crianza, 2000 and then tasted this alongside.
This version of white Rioja is composed of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia grapes and it has had 6 years ageing in American oak. When we opened it, it was 16 years old.
A medium gold with deep legs, it has a medium plus nose of brine and salt with almond, sharp sherry notes, tangerine oil and significant Meyer lemon.
The palate is dry and still has medium plus acidity. The medium plus body shows medium plus flavours of dried apricot, yellow plum, deeply ripened pear, almond, more salted sherry notes, green olives, honey and a persistent finish.
This sea air, sherry-like style of López de Heredia offers so much well-balanced and vibrant flavour and aroma. It’s almost hard to believe it’s 16; lay it down and enjoy until 2020 without difficulty.
WSET Very Good plus