R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2008

This is wine is in Bin 1915 at St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis, Indiana. St. Elmo has an extensive wine list, so it was hard to choose just one. However, given our current love of Tempranillo, we decided on this blend. It was a blind pick…

St. Elmo Steak House was established in 1902 and still occupies its original location. Famous for its steaks, its shrimp cocktails and its service, St. Elmo lived up to its reputation and recommendation. We finally celebrated our anniversary with dinner in Indy. If you go – ask for Patrick. But a word to the wise – make reservations – they get busy, especially on a Sunday Night!

After perusing the wine list and settling on this option as a “why not” choice… After all, if it is horrible, chalk it up to a bad choice… It wasn’t. It’s a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho, 10% Graciano and Manzuelo

It has a dry acrid scent at first, but let it breath and you get the scent of wet earth. Yet, later in the meal it took on a chocolate covered cherry scent. It’s very acidic with low sugar and high tannin, with a crisp finish.

The horseradish in the shrimp cocktail sauce brought out the sweetness in the wine. I really didn’t think it would go with the appetizer, but it went really well.

For the second course, we opted for the wedge salad. A bit of a cliché for a steakhouse salad course – but in my opinion why should you mess with tradition? St. Elmo delivered with thick cut bacon and large chunks of gorgonzola, which also brought out a sweetness in the wine.

The steak (medium) brought out the earthiness to the wine. The steak had the gorgonzola and horseradish butter on it, so that also helped smooth the wine and brought out that chocolate cherry flavor.

We had some left to finish prior to the dessert, so it was nice to just sit and sip. It’s a wine that doesn’t need food, but instead compliments the food it’s with… kinda like pearls go with everything.

Final Thoughts

The color is garnet, with a tinge of orange on the edge – although with the picture above you can see it is truly a dark wine. It’s a surprisingly well balanced wine. We decided we would give this a Thursday/Friday rating because of the price – but would drink it any day of the week.

With the benefit of hindsight, I read some reviews of the wine. Apparently it is the flagship wine for the vineyard. I didn’t get all the flavors that others got with this wine, but I don’t know when they tried it. It was a 14 year old bottle of wine for me, so I can see how some of the intense flavor might have faded – but I won’t hold that against it… after all it was celebrating an anniversary – well past the age of the wine. The winery has an interesting history and backstory – check it out here. In the meantime, I’ll be checking out where I can buy this wine locally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.