López de Heredia, who make Tondonia, is one of the classic old Rioja houses. They are super-traditional, and make fabulously old fashioned and brilliantly ageable wines. They are not for modernists: winemaking here is quite oxidative with extended ageing in oak before release. It’s not quite up to Musar levels, but these wines are a bit of an acquired taste. Once you get a taste for them, however, you are smitten. It’s wonderful how wines that are a technician’s nightmare are some of the most compelling and fine of all. It helps to keep us humble, I guess.
I was really surprised to see this wine in the Co-operative, rubbing shoulders with inexpensive commercial bottlings. Good for the Co-op, listing some geek bait like this, although I am surprised that FMV, the UK agents, sold this to them: it is normally found in independents and it is normally more expensive (Berry Bros & Rudd, who own FMV, are selling this for £29.99).
Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002 Rioja, Spain
13% alcohol. 6 Years in oak. Very appealing young Tondonia, this, with fresh, bright red cherry and berry fruit, some grippy structure, and a savoury personality, kept fresh with high acidity. There are hints of vanilla and spice, with a tight core of fruit and complex notes of tea, earth and minerals. It’s not the greatest vintage of Tondonia, but this is a really lovely wine and it will probably age beautifully, when it will merit a higher score. 92/100 (£19.99 Co-op)
5 thoughts on “Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002, in a supermarket near you”
Jamie, where did you find the Tondonia, as i have tried several Coop’s in South-West London, but none of them knew anything about it?
I was sent a sample. I think it will be in selected stores only.
I picked up a bottle from my local Coop in Sheffield on christmas eve for £19.99, it took about 4-5 hours in a decanter to really open up but was delicious with our duck! Great value.
Coop Old Street in London are selling the last few bottles of Reserva 2002 off reduced to £15.99 on shelves near the tills.