Two little wines I poached off the Lido list last night. Both comfortably under 100 bucks, proving–even on MASSIVE, blingy, $$$$ lists attached to 10k-bottle cellars, there ALWAYS are bargains. Your job is to find them.
The Tondonia and orphan and sandwiched between an 09–which I knew to be RIDICULOUS–and an 01–which is equally delicious but in firmly tertiary profiles. 2004 seemed like a wild card. I was not disappointed. Quite closed in on initial, slowly growing in basically all shallow, undeveloped tertiary with very little fruit. Dark and brooding but with vigorous acid, a fun drink and NO ONE complained, but…. just never really shone as I think the entire table expected. I felt it fruitless and rather vapid, and air never seemed to help. Either past prime or in *secondary dumb stage*. Your call.
The Penfolds an oddball Bin of decent age. I have never been a fan of Bin 2 Old Vines, but based on the flavor profile I would bet that is the source for the 15% Mataro here. Instead of it making Bin 2 awkward and uninviting, here the inclusion massages the Syrah and Grenache in wonderful ways. Drrrrrty and grimy, but with glorious Syrah shining high and mighty, still purple and fresh, tertiary *just* starting to work its fingers into things. Blew the Rioja away. Different. Definitely apples-to-oranges and purist just had a coronary, but far more interesting drinker.
2004 BODEGAS LOPEZ de HEREDIA ‘Vina Tondonia’ Reserva Rioja 13.5
2011 PENFOLD’S ‘Bin 138’ SGM 65?/20?/15 Barossa Australia 14.5