As soon as I saw that Chambers Street Wines had received their initial allocation of López de Heredia 1994 Gran Reserva I had to have at it immediately.  Besides the fact that they are among the first to receive the wine in the United States, I simply wanted to try it.  And I wanted to try it before everyone else.  There, I said it.

I have never pulled any punches over the wines of López de Heredia, I love them.  And, in recent years, I am not alone.  The tide has grown and so have the prices.  I reckon prices will continue creeping up on the López de Heredia wines.  My simple recommendation would be to buy up as much Gran Reserva stuff as you can now if that’s what strikes your fancy.  The prices ain’t coming down anytime soon now that the secret is out.  There, I have said it out loud.  Again.

When I look at this label, I can’t help but think of what someone said to me once, thought I can’t remember who, but I know it was a girl (or a woman), but the López de Heredia Tondonia label is a font fest.  But I digress.  This was exciting stuff to try, and it does not disappoint.  I may even say that it is young by López de Heredia Gran Reserva standards.  I might opt for a 1991 release, or perhaps even something older, especially considering many of these wines come in at similar price points to the 1994, though maybe not for much longer.  Everyone needs to try a López Gran Reserva at least once in their lives.  Nuff said.

López de Heredia, Viña Tondonia 1994 Gran Reserva ~$90.00

Spiced cherries, topped with sea salt, scents of liquorish, quinine, mushroom broth, spiced exotic tea, iodine, dates, hint of orange peel.  Subtle on the palate but with a well spiced nose, well balanced, and good acidity to carry if forth for a good long while.  Fresh still even for a López de Heredia Gran Reserva.  I love the spiced notes on the 1994; infinitely drinkable now, I might reach for 1991 (or 1987, 1985, etc., etc.) when considering a López de Heredia Gran Reserva, and let this one have a few more years to do it’s thing.  The acidity, structure, and balance are there so no need to worry.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Further vital stats on the 1994 Tondonia Gran Reserva:

GRAPE VARIETIES: Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%), all from our own vineyards.

AGING PERIOD: Barrel: 10 years, being racked twice per year and fined with fresh egg whites. Bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.

QUANTITY MADE: 18,000 bottles.