Old Wines are rare beasts. As Sillynote has it, "drink now through teatime". Something like 95% of wine bought in this country is drunk the same day. Most wine, of course, is made for now & won't benefit from bottle age (although I find that some new world wines are better if given time to get over their initial tartaric-induced tartness). So there's a special gloss on an old bottle.
Tonight's shiny bauble was a Viña Tondonia Blanco 1987 (excellent). It was the colour of brass, but with beautiful glints of gold through it. The nose was strong - acrid - and very earthy, loads of mushroomy notes, as well as a novel scent for me, of caraway seeds.
It tasted very mellow, gentle, but still with a strong core of citrus acidity. It was lovely.
Interestingly, we had another white Rioja, Finca Allende 2005 (excellent), to compare with the Tondonia. The Allende was only three years old rather than twenty-one, and matured in French oak for rather less than the four years the Tondonia underwent. Yet the similarities were there to see.