TN: 2004 R. Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Reserva

TN: 2004 R. Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Reserva

With some ruby sheen, but almost blood red. Very expressive aromatically that pleasingly changed with each pour. Highly acidic, but smooth drinking. Elegant and medium-to-light-bodied, and seemed to indicate more of a cool-weather fruit. A very traditional Rioja in both smell and taste, highlighting some spices, tea, a bit of old wood and deliciously gulp-able red cherries. Happy that I snagged a 3some from a local at cost sale. A-


Local store has it on sale for $34 a bottle. Perhaps I will pick up a couple.

Thanks for the nice note, Ramon,

I have some of these also; good to know.

Had some last night coincidentally. Good stuff. First had it side by side the 2003 during a dinner with MariaJose & Jose Luis. Both wines quite nice; but clearly different beasts.

I have one as well, glad to have this data point, thanks Ramon.


Our local store has the '05s now. Really enjoyed the 2004.

I had some in the fall. I thought it was a little too cool and tart for my tastes. Needs food I think.

Arv. Is that in context with other vintages of LdH or just in general?

Only one store in Texas shows up in Wine-Searcher carrying any Tondonia and that’s the 2004. Luckily for me they are in Dallas. At any rate, I have 2 magnums of the 2001 in my cellar - one will be opened at an upcoming offline in April. I really enjoy this wine.

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Yw. I hope this wine works out well for you as it did for me.

Different beasts indeed. What did you think of them, comparatively? I haven’t had them side by side, but I had both within a couple of weeks of each other fairly recently. I actually prefer the '03 for current consumption. '04 seems to me to have greater potential, but I think it needs time to really show it. I can enjoy either one now, but I’m excited to see what the '04 becomes in another 8-10+ years.

In general.

I don’t drink enough LdH to make cross vintage comparisons.

But in general I don’t like shrill wines.

We are of the same mind regarding current drinking and potential. The '03 shows typical vintage characteristics; but LdH carried it off very well. I haven’t liked & avoid '03 Bdx in general; and, from Burgundy, remember liking only the '03 Clos de Lambrays.

Just for full disclosure purposes, I and a partner used to have a small wine business in Manila which used to import/distribute aged tintos Riojanos (more of a hobby, really); and, at the time, used to represent LdH. Due to our “real jobs”, we stopped a few years ago. The past couple of years, LdH has been represented in Manila by AWC Philippines.



Just had this in Wailea at the Ka’ana Kitchen. Was supposed to be the 2003, but it turned out to be the 2004, which I didn’t notice until we’d almost finished the bottle. Didn’t find it shrill or tart at all, but not an opulent 2003. Very nice with food, should be even better in 5-10 years.

Just had this tonight. Enjoyable, easy access, lighter side of rioja, not juicy/fruity at all, tannin present but take a sideline to gentle fruit delivery. Enough to have me pick up three more.

  • 2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (1/25/2023)
    Decanted 90 minutes. A tad bit of Heredia funk on the nose blew off after 10 minutes revealing all the goodness of a quality Tondonia vintage; cigar wrapper, roses, nervy plum scents etc. Carries over to the palate, but with some pretty good punch of acidity throughout. Velvety and very tactile in it’s progression down the palate, culminating in a finish that is full of both deliciousness and character. I think the 04 has long term aging potential.

Great note. Thanks for the check-in.