This is the new vintage of one of the world's best white wines. At its peak, this wine stands comparison with the great Montrachets from Burgundy and with some of Germany's most exquisite and ethereal Rieslings.
As you may have observed, this white wine is now 20 years of age. Far from being old, though, the mighty Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva 1996, produced only in exceptional vintages, hasn't even reached its prime. Moreover, the 1996 vintage was qualified as "Very Good" by the Rioja Regulatory Board.
This Grand Reserve White Wine was vinified in the most traditional way by the venerable R. López de Heredia-Viña Tondonia winery, the embodiment of ancestral Rioja.
The Viura and Malvasía grapes were meticulously harvested, destemmed and then fermented in little oak vats. Malolactic fermentation took place in Bordeaux barrels, after which the wine was aged for 10 years in American oak barrels with rackings being performed twice a year.
When the ageing process was completed, the wine was clarified with egg whites and bottled unfiltered. Then the wine spent a further 10 years in the bottle prior to its commercial release onto the market.
Only 6,451 bottles were produced of this Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva 1996.
As for its life expectancy, if properly stored this wine will drink beautifully for at least another 15 years.
We suggest that you gently decant it 1 hour before drinking.
Clean, marvelous old gold colour with amber tinges.
Such an array of aromas and suggestions! Ripe white fruit (quince, sweet lemon rind, orange rind, golden pomelo), beeswax, mead, white flowers, vanilla, walnut husk, dry fruit... The blend of grapes, 90% Viura (aka Macabeo) and 10% Malvasía is masterly.
An otherworldly balance, mixture of a remarkable intensity and a fabulous gentleness. Fruit compote, mineral and earthy nuances, some sweet Riesling-like touches, a whole world of flavours, exceptional acidity and the texture dreams are made of. Long, unending, message-in-a-bottle finish.
|Our personal opinion||
Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva 1996. A wine that every serious drinker should experience at least once in a lifetime.
Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva 1994:
|Bottle size||75 cl|
|Should this wine be decanted?||One hour before serving|
|Does this wine follow the guidelines of biodynamic Farming?||No|
|Is this product free of sulfites?||No|
|Type of ageing||Months in American oak barrels|
|Number of months aged in Barrels||120|
|Name of Award||No|
|Percentage of variety||Viura 90%, Malvasía 10%.|
|Pairings||Baked whitefish, Boullabaise, Cod, Curred fish, Fish and gravey, Foie Gras, Grilled whitefish, Poultry, Soup and rice, Specialty Spanish prosciutto , Stew, Whitefish salads|
|Taste||Complex and Elegant, Dry and full bodied, Tasty with barrel notes, Very intense and inky|
|Occasion||A special occasion, Romantic Dinner, To bring to an engagement|