THE VINEYARD TONDONIA - Don Rafael López de Heredia acquired Viña Tondonia from a group of clergies in 1913. The Tondonia vineyard is a beautiful vineyard of over 247 acres, 1,600 feet above sea level, situated on the right bank of the Ebro River in Rioja Alta. The soil is Alluvial clay with a high concentration of Limestone. There are 4 varieties of red grapes planted in this vineyard: Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano, and Garnacho. The vineyard has a few acres of white grapes (Viura and Malvasia).
Region/Sub- Region: Spain, Rioja, Rioja Alta.
Grapes: 30% Tempranillo, 60% Garnacho, and 10% Viura.
Soil: Alluvial clay and Limestone.
Harvest: End September-early October, all done by hand, cutting with a curved knife "corquete", prevents the grape from breaking causing fermentation prematurely. Bunches are placed in conical wood containers made at the R. López de Heredia cooperage.
Vinification: Hoppers de-stem bunches and gently break skins releasing the must and skin contact soaking period. Must is transferred to 25,000L vats where spontaneous fermentation takes place.
Aging: 4 years in 225L American oak barrels handmade by the López de Heredia coopers, racked twice per year and at least 5 years in bottle before released.
Nose: Fresh and fruity, with suggestions of bitter almonds, and hazelnuts.
Taste: Smooth, and fresh with body and complexity due to the aging conditions.
Gastronomy: Great with spicy foods, Indian, Mexican, and Chinese style cuisine. Perfect with sausage, charcuterie.
Color: Onion skin, velvety, hints.
Talking About the Wines:
-Wine Spectator, Mar '20 gave 93 points to 2009 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva (rosé). "The deep rusty color announces that this is not a typical rosé. Distinctive offering tangy acidity and light, firm tannins that frame the rich texture, giving this plenty of structure for food. Orange peel and tarragon, iodine and beeswax notes frame the dried cherry and tangerine flavors. Unique. Garncaho, Tempranillo and Viura. Drink now through 2029."
-A View From The Cellar, Oct ’19 gave 92 points to 2009 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva (rosé). “The new release of 2009 Viña Tondonia Rioja Rosado “Gran Reserva” from López de Heredia is a tad deeper in color than other recent vintages, probably reflecting the very warm summer of 2009. The wine is a blend of sixty percent Garnacha, thirty percent Tempranillo and ten percent Viura. It offers up a wide open and beautifully complex bouquet of strawberries, orange peel, a touch of watermelon, gorgeous spice tones, salty soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with lovely depth at the core, sound framing acids, lovely balance and grip and a long, classy finish. The acids are a bit on the low side for this bottling, which makes me think that this may well be a Tondonia Rosado that is best in the first decade of its life in bottle, but the balance is very good and it may well last far longer than I imagine. Of course, in proper Haro fashion, I have some little lamb chops to go on the grill to accompany this wine, so its immediate future in only going to be an hour or two!”
-Vinous Media “2019 Rosé Round up”, by Josh Raynolds, Aug ’19 gave 94 points to R. López de Heredia, Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva 2009. "Light bright amber-hued orange. Mineral- and spice-accented red currant and cherry scents, joined by building herb and floral nuances. Shows noteworthy depth as well as energy to the bitter cherry, succulent herb, spice cake and blood orange flavors, which turn sweeter as the wine stretches out. Finishes extremely long and chewy, with resonating floral and red fruit character and a lingering suggestion of fennel.”