By Lopez de Heredia standards, this is a short-lived wine—meaning that at close to ten years of age, it may not have more than a few interesting years in front of it. A rather reasonable longevity for any wine, but when compared to the feisty and still bright 1991 Gran Reserva Tondonia or even some vintages going back to the 1970s (still on sale now), it certainly does not seem to have the same staying power. Carrying the elegance of Lopez de Heredia wines, it has a lightness and freshness that are remarkably pleasant, with flavors reminiscent of blood orange and dried fruit, and a slightly spicy component as well. There is an intensity to it that could make it stand up to a grilled meat, and it remains a very satisfying wine. Something to drink while you wait for the more ageworthy vintages to get to the same point, an extra ten years down the line. RC
WHO: R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, S.A.
WHAT: Tempranillo, Grenache, Mazuelo, Graciano
WHERE: Rioja, Spain
HOW MUCH: $32