Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia,Vina Bosconia Reserva, DOCa Rioja, La Rioja, Spain, 2004
On Rioja: Rioja Wine Guide, including style descriptions – courtesy of the Wine Society.
This wine: lot No. L-9986, traditional style, a blend of 80% tempranillo, 15% garnacha, with mazuelo (aka carinena, carignan) and graciano; pre-release ageing of 5 years in oak and 3 in bottle (ageing regulations), coated natural cork closure stained to mid-length, 13.5% abv, widely available, £22 (08/16)
Consumer tasting note: garnet hued, with rich aromas of baked red fruits, defrosted strawberry, black cherry, a savoury dimension, and liquorice; medium bodied with flavours of black cherry and berry, stewed red cherry and a touch of coconut. Finishes medium-long. Decant for about an hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity garnet, showing tears [and a tiny quantity of hard sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of a hint of meatiness, slightly high toned, baked red fruits – cherry and red currant, a lactic nuance, stewed red cherry edged with defrosted strawberry, beeswax, hint of ripe black cherry, hint of sweet oak, leaf humus, hint of black liquorice, after some time a whiff of vanilla,
Palate: dry, high acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of black cherry edged with more fragrant crushed blackberry, stewed red cherry, a whiff of coconut on the end. A medium (+) length with a clean black berried edged with red cherry finish, and a touch of coconut on the end.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced fresh acidity and ripe medium tannins with alcohol, altogether harmonious, with a nice balance of primary fruit, exposure to well-integrated oak and bottle age; sound intensity throughout, with similar concentration, showing a little better than moderate complexity, and a medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for say 2-3 years – a sound structure and balance, at its peak now, pretty much fully developed, with a nice balance of residual primary fruit, exposure to oak and bottle age.