The wines of López de Heredia are beloved in the auction world. Their scarcity, their longevity, and their reputation make them a must-have for any collector of fine wines. And when compared with other collectible bottles, they tend to be very affordable. The whites of López are particularly sought-after. This, the Viña Tondonia Reserva, is the highest-end white they regularly produce, and you can routinely find drinkable examples going all the way back to the 70s and 80s. Today we have the pleasure of offering one bottle from the excellent 2008 vintage.
We should mention the provenance here as well. This week we unearthed about three cases of old wine which had sat, unopened, in a temperature and humidity-controlled cellar since the wine shop was first opened eight years ago. Over the next few weeks we're going to highlight a selection of these old and rare bottles, beginning with this lovely White Rioja.
2008 López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva — $100
Viña Tondonia was planted in 1913 and 1914 along a curve in the River Ebro, right at the border between Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is one of the greatest vineyards in all of Spain. It is planted in the traditional bush-vine style, in which plants are trained individually in the shapes of goblets, rather than being trellised in rows for ease. This method is the condicio sine qua non for the staunchly-traditionalist López de Heredia. Their entire philosophy centers around low yields, ancient vines, and minimal intervention, all of which have become buzz words the world over but which have formed the ethos of López since the mid-19th century, even when long oak aging and mechanized production swept the Rioja in the 80s and 90s. They've found themselves in the vanguard, in the rearview, then back again.
Old White Rioja, especially from López, is one of the most fascinating and unique wines in the world. The acidity in the '08 is still very much alive, giving structure to notes of ripe tangerine, dried peach, toasted nut, and honey, capped off by a penetrating sea salt finish. At 15 years old, it's ready to drink now, but don't be afraid to lay it down for another decade or more. This is a wine built for the long haul. 1 bottle available. -SOLD-