|The 2001 Lopez de Heredia’s Vina Tondonia Reserva Rioja (LA Times/MCT)|
Spain’s Rioja region produces some of the best red wines in the world. And most have a terrific price-quality ratio. That holds even for some of the most famous wines, like Lopez de Heredia’s Vina Tondonia Reserva Rioja. The 2001 is the current release from the family-run winery that dates back 131 years and three generations. The blend is 75 percent Tempranillo with 15 percent Garnacha, the rest made up of Graciano and Mazuelo grapes. Open a bottle a half hour or so before you want to drink it to allow the bouquet of dark berries, chocolate and sweet spices to fully develop. The flavors are complex, the texture silky, with soft sweet tannins. The 2001 is the current release, which means this reserva is mature enough to drink now with pleasure, though it still has many years ahead of it.
● Region: Rioja, Spain
● Price: $40 to $44.
● Style: Chiseled and elegant
● What it goes with: Roast duck or pork, grilled chops, braised dishes
By S. Irene Virbila
(Los Angeles Times)
(MCT Information Services)