97pts Tim Atkin
Tondonia's reds have been on an upward curve recently and are now at the same level as the bodega's world-class whites. This is a fine, elegant, savoury, low-alcohol blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 5% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, combining summer berry fruit, racy acidity, granular tannins and an earthy, balsamic undertone. Good now, but this will develop further in bottle.
95pts James Suckling
Lots of dried fruit with plum, light raisin, chocolate and toasted oak. Some balsamic undertones. White truffles and dried flowers. Medium body, creamy tannins and savory, balsamic undertones. Extreme and unique, as always.
95pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The nose of the 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva is very elegant, fresh and with an herbal twist, starting to show the complexity of the aged wines that are sometimes still too young when they are released 10+ years from the vintage! The palate is medium-bodied, with lightness and depth, very classical with extra freshness and all that is needed for a long development in bottle. This is the more Tondonia of the two vintages I tasted side by side. There are notes of maple syrup, smoke, licorice and crisp fruit. The palate is more austere, crunchy and reveals the chalkiness of the soils. There's more definition and precision here.
The flagship wine from the estate, its Tempranillo grapes wrapped in an alluvial amphitheatre overlooking the Ebro, its wines barrel aged for six years. The 2008 was a relatively cool vintage, understated but perfectly correct; accurate if somewhat anodyne descriptors for the wine itself. The colour holds ruby charm and concentration at the core; the nose captures the classic house style, savoury, earthy yet with fine chiselled dark fruit definition and hints of graphite in support, then woodsmoke and soy. Wonderfully composed, with firm acidity and a real presence en la boca, the wine dares to satisfy on many levels.
91pts Wine & Spirits
This is a lean and fragrant vintage of Viña Tondonia, the López de Heredia family’s prime Rioja Alta vineyard above a meander along the Ebro River. In 2008, the wine is gamey up front, with sour cherry flavors and a delicate, lasting richness. The wine defines Rioja’s traditional elegance.
Vibrant red leading slightly towards amber. Light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and good balance.
Blend: 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho, 10% Graciano and Manzuelo