|Subregion||Spain > Rioja|
Released even later than the red, the 1994 Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva, the most classical of all whites in existence in Spain, is a blend of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasía Riojana fermented in old (ancient!) oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in well-seasoned American oak barrels for ten years (yes, you read it correctly, ten years in barrique). It was bottled unfiltered in March 2005. This is by far the most complex white, with notes of curry and meat broth (think umami), that are complex, subtle and aromatic, plus show developing notes of mushrooms, autumn forest, aromatic herbs and hints of petrol and perhaps–and this might not be politically correct–traces of asparagus and mustard! The palate reveals a very compact wine, very intense, round but focused, with high-pitched flavors, great acidity and length. The wine is a chameleon, keeps changing in the glass, while the notes of green nuts, curry and morels made me think of a wine from the Jura. After drinking bottles from the 1940s, 50s and 60s, I can promise you this wine will outlive most of us, as the whites age even longer than the reds. 8,800 bottles exist.