1954 Lopez de Heredia "Vina Tondonia" Rioja (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1008716 90 points Vinous

 The 1954 Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva displays the classic Tondonia nose, with suggestions of tobacco, minerals and alcohol. Less expressive on the palate, it shows sweet, perfumed dark fruit with excellent length. Although all the elements of a great wine are there, for some reason they just don’t seem to come together and this bottle isn’t completely representative. (AG)  (10/2006)

Jancis Robinson

 Bright crimson. Complex, tobacco - even cigars – nose. Very demanding and bone dry. Much drier than most rioja. But it still has life. Vibrant and delicate and racy – choose food with this with care. Long and very fresh.  (2/2011)

K&L Notes

1954 was a solid vintage in Rioja and you do see them in the US market from time to time. Prior to the 1980's, distinctions between bottles labeled Gran Reserva, Reserva or cosecha were less common than these days, where it is all strictly controlled by the consejo. This cosecha bottling is still showing well, with Tondonia's trademark darker fruits, cocoa powder and elegance, along with the celery salt and savor developed in bottle one would expect from a 60+ year old bottle of red wine! A bottle tasted from this collection in September of 2016 showed nicely, fully mature with a marked increase in freshness once in the glass for a few minutes. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

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Price: $399.99
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By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/4/2016 | Send Email
A wonderful glimpse at a Rioja classic, 62 years from the vintage, this Tondonia is (not surprisingly) fully mature, with a lovely balance of fruit and savory spice drawer and beef bouillon aromatics. Though it is not a Gran Reserva (the bottle is labeled simply with the vintage), this wine has aged nicely. I had the opportunity to taste this with two other wine professionals (one of whom was a long-time Rioja winemaker) and we all were impressed not only by the life it had retained, but also by the vigor and freshness it had gained in the glass.

Additional Information:



- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.