R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva 1980
It all started in the middle of the nineteenth century when French negociants visited the Rioja region to find alternative sources of quality grapes to transform into wine, since the phylloxera epidemic had decimated their vineyards. Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic student in the art of wine making, followed closely in their footsteps. Don Rafael fell in love with the region and especially the area around Haro, the mythical capital of the Rioja Alta region. He observed that there was a magical combination of soil and climate that would offer the perfect environment for producing wine that would eventually become world famous. Around 1877 he began the design and construction of the complex that is today known as the López de Heredia bodega (winery), the oldest in Haro and one of the first three houses in the Rioja region. Bodegas López de Heredia stands out as one of the few family-run bodegas regulated by the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja – DOC (Appellation region).
I had a very special occasion and needed a wine worthy of the event, so I opened a 37 year old wine! In a word Magnificent!!! A blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho, and 5% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano, and aged for 10 Years in old American oak barrels! Wow!! The 1980 bottle was sealed with red wax, preserving the wine, which worked as the cork crumbled on extraction! Very light Ruby, enticing, with complex aromas of juicy red fruit, earthy spices and smoke. On the palate cherry flavors with espresso spice, vanilla, smoky oak, earthy leather and bits of black pepper. Well balanced with very smooth tannins and a long lingering delicate finish ending with earthy spice tones. Very Nice, a rare treat to enjoy a mature Rioja, something really special!