Rave Review: eRobertParker.com on 1996 Lopez de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva “Vina Tondonia” White – 96 Points!
“Still unreleased (the 1994 has just been launched and this will be sold in 2016), the 1996 Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva is a wine crafted to show the longevity of the wines produced with the grapes from the Tondonia vineyard in Haro. It follows the same path as the other Grandes Reservas, being a blend of grapes (mostly Viura and some 10% Malvasía Riojana) and up to 15% of wine from other vintages used to refill the barrels during the extended ten-year aging. This is more subtle, less expressive than the 1994, and is also lighter and in need of bottle age to develop more complexity. Still, I don’t think it will get to the same level as the 1994. The 1996 harvest was a bit shorter, and 6,451 bottles were produced.
I knew I was in for a treat when I received the list of wines to taste from María José López de Heredia, as with my 16-month cycle of tastings, sometimes I get two vintages of the same wine, which is the case here with no less than five labels. Wines going from strength to strength in the more strict Riojan classicism. The annual production is 400,000 bottles, and that’s not enough to satisfy global demand. As it usually happens, I tasted through the collection of wines while María José López de Heredia didn’t stop talking about their history, Rioja, their family and everything in between. Great tasting and great wines. Congratulations!”
— Luis Gutierrez / eRobertParker.com